James Loucks: Do you mean as in the ancient test for pure gold? Or the Arnoldian literary touchstone? -- Jim Loucks
It's been 50+ years since I read "The Forsaken Merman" -- which might have an interesting connection with "Till human voices wake us. . . ." Some bright under-grad might work on it.
From: P <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Thursday, August 6, 2015 12:18 PM
Subject: Re: Letter of Recommendation: 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock'
Prufrock is touchstone.
On 6 Aug 2015 5:10 am, "Rickard A. Parker" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Another recommendation:
> http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/09/magazine/letter-of-recommendation-the-love-song-of-j-alfred-prufrock.html?_r=0 <http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/09/magazine/letter-of-recommendation-the-love-song-of-j-alfred-prufrock.html?_r=0>
> The New York Times Magazine
> Letter of Recommendation: 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock'
> August 6, 2015
> By Mark Levine
> Mark Levine has written for the magazine since 2002. His new book of poems, ‘‘Travels of Marco,’’ will be published in 2016.
> The last paragraph:
> I lost myself in its winding passageways and felt momentarily reunited with my teenage self, transported into a world of frightening, delirious possibility. ‘‘Prufrock’’ could restore me to the primal necessities of poetry like nothing else. It wasn’t the same poem I discovered years earlier, nor the poem my students read, but with disarming specificity, ‘‘Prufrock’’ remained capable of speaking to an enduring desire for something larger than myself, made available through the shape-shifting powers of the imagination. ‘‘Why is the poem called a love song?’’ a student asked. It was a good question. I turned to the class. ‘‘Is Prufrock in love?’’ Long silence. Then a student spoke: ‘‘Yes,’’ she said. ‘‘In love with poetry.’’
> A version of this article appears in print on August 9, 2015, on page MM20 of the Sunday Magazine with the headline: ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock’.