The degree of sophistication in the few comments re: the Prufrock poem that
I had the privilege of reading recently is awe-inspiring indeed.
One shakes with trepidation at the thought of being deprived of access to
these worthy insights.
What sensitivity, what learning!
How discerning, how subtle the minds of those who have deigned (so far,
because there are bound to be more of them) to let us, despicable mortals,
peer, even if for an instant, into the crevices of their shining minds!
The only thought that comes to my antediluvian brain is, I admit, is that
through the poem Eliot wanted to provide proof that whenever he was
remembering the nights during which, as the venerated Ms. Seymour-Jones
claims, he slept with the poem's dedicatee, his dick would get hard as rock?
How about dissecting this bold, albeit not quite academic, thesis?
----- Original Message -----
From: "dorothy peters" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, April 01, 2003 4:46 PM
Subject: Re: Prufrock's "smoke"
> Steve wrote:
> > In previous posts I have mentioned that "fog" brings up the notion of
> Dear Steve and Others,
> I don't often share my thoughts on Eliot. I am not a scholar or academic.
But I thought I'd give it a try.
> Might fog refer to a bewildered state of mind? Cunfused, muddled? Or
obscured, rather than the more purposeful _concealed_?
> Perhaps he is turning his back, ignoring his confusion, keeping it obscure
to himself, rather than examining it (looking into the window).
> > The yellow smoke that rubs its_ muzzle_ on the window-panes. ( Muzzle,
front of face, nose, etc.)
> Might this suggest he had looked into some parts of himself (though much
later he describes himself as "obtuse")
> yet other parts he has ignored:
> Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap,
> And seeing that it was a soft October night,
> Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.
> > I have often wondered why the "fog" (an obvious image of concealment)
in the stanza's opening line becomes the "smoke" in the next line. Since
"fog" and "smoke" could almost equally well serve as metaphors for
concealment, why is it necessary to have the 'fog' turn into its apparent
> To me, fog settles, while smoke moves. The fog (obfuscation) rubs its
back upon the window (of self examination). The smoke rubs its muzzle on
the window, moves, slips by areas, makes a sudden leap, falls asleep.
> Perhaps smoke, rather than the settled fog, is that part of himself which
he continues to try to understand and, until he has understood and accepted
all of his parts with confidence, that smoke (the unexamined) has the time
to slide along the streets, rub its back upon the window-panes, allowing
time for him prepare a face.
> (concealed desires) and that "yellow" is the color of sickness
> Yellow is also the color of happiness and sunshine (Light). In both the
fog and smoke, there lingers a hint of light.