> Here Prufrock goes deep into his soul to reveal his innermost secrets
(which is why the section is
> physically set apart from the narration of the rest of the poem). Prufrock
reveals that the purpose of his > journey "at dusk through narrow streets"
is to watch "the smoke that rises from the pipes/Of lonely
> men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows", that is, to pursue his
desires for homosexual encounters.
As in the original discussion, I still have a problem with the view of the
'lonely men in shirt sleeves' as objects of homosexual desire. The problem
is the pipe: not an item that was ever part of gay fashion, unless I am
What exactly are those men doing by leaning out of windows in shirt sleeves?
Signalling their 'availability'? This seems to be some sort of seedy
neighbourhood ('narrow streets'), but is it a cruising area? Cruising from a
window doesn't seem very practical - or is it? Mind you, I don't have a firm
alternative interpretation of what they're up to.
> For example, I read the phrase "the soot that falls from chimneys" as a
reference to ejaculation.
And what do you do with 'let fall upon its back', then? Somehow I d o n '
t want to know... ;-)
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