Reading Prufrock is wearing a mask, looking through his eyes
at his world. It is a narcissistic world, a mirror of himself. SO
to look through his eyes is to look into a mirror, to become
Narcissus. People love to look at themselves and so they
return to the poem again and again.
The irony is that when one looks at one's reflection
in a mirror, one sees a reverse image, not the real image.
The image looks back at the viewer, and is agin reflercted
in an endless regressive series, such as one gets
when mirrors reflect each other.
Each new reading of the poem is one level deeper in the reflective series.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Dunja Seselja" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Sunday, April 30, 2006 7:20 AM
Subject: Re: 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock' was Re: OT: USk Castle
> Yes, I see what you mean, Peter. I agree there is a
> lot to experiencing the poem, just, experiencing also
> includes thoughts (even though they might be foggy),
> not only emotions. But it is true that sometimes
> emotions lead us in our understanding of the poem. For
> example, that was a reason why I couldn't accept CR's
> interpretation completely - I feel that Prufrock
> cannot be someone who is simply keeping away from lust
> and judging others for being lustful. Maybe this point
> can be put in words, but something else won't be so
> explicitly expressible. That's why we are dealing here
> with a poem, after all.
> But that doesn't mean interpretations are senseless.
> They help us to shed a new light on the very
> experience of a poem, and if put in appropriate
> language-form, they might sometimes hit the point
> (with the same experience-feeling one might have when
> reading them).
> --- Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > No. Not contra. Obviously your experience of the
> > poem is different from
> > mine,
> > so your response to the poem is different from mine.
> > I don't see a poem
> > as some kind of marble block out of which has to be
> > carved an essay.
> > I look for effects the artist tries to achieve, and
> > for the responses to
> > those effects.
> > Those are sensory/emotional factors, not thoughts.
> > Obviously the poem
> > has VERY seductive sensory elements (mermaids?).
> > Those elements have
> > seduced readers into endless interpretations, none
> > of which satisfy, leaving
> > the seductory elements to draw them back again and
> > again. If the poem has
> > meaning it is a meanng which is FELT, not THOUGHT,
> > with the immediacy of
> > the odour of a rose. It seems to me, then that an
> > appropriate response to
> > such an experience is not a set of meanings, but
> > another poetic
> > construction.
> > We neither agree nor disagree.
> > our approaches differ.
> > Cheers,
> > Peter
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