In a message dated 9/22/02 11:54:08 PM EST, [log in to unmask] writes:

> Has anyone bothered to look into why it is
>  that the women are talking of Michaelangelo, rather
>  than, say, Rafael, or DaVinci or say the lastest mod.
>  art rage?
>  Also, of what, about Michaelangelo, might they
>  be talking?
>  Thanks and
>  Cheers,
>  Peter

In looking at TSE's works over the years, it seems to me that many of them
express themes of homosexuality. There is by no means any agreement on this,
and I have had many "vigorous" arguments with list members on this point.
Still, my conclusion is that TSE had homosexual desires which both attracted
and repelled him and, additionally, he was very concerned that these desires
would offend God. Thus we see passages in his works like "Lord, I am not
worthy". In Prufrock, I believe we see a narrator personally confronting
homosexuality, but scared to death about revealing it in general society:

"Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow streets
And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes
Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows?..."

So, in that context, this is how I'd answer your question:

Michelangelo is an artist known for his passion about the male form and for
his passion about the relationship between man and God. Michelangelo's art
explicitly reflected these passions, and Prufrock's "love song" will explore
these ideas as well. In that context, a female can never be expected to
completely comprehend the underlying forces that drove a man like
Michelangelo. So it isn't simply that the narrator feels that women are too
concerned with trivial matters to appreciate a great artist; more
fundamentally, it is that the narrator feels no woman can ever fully
understand certain fires that once burned in Michelangelo, that now burn in

-- Steve --