S. Brandt
 

For the second poetry response, all students will respond to T. S. Elliot's poem "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" by 10pm Friday, May 30th.

Krystal Rodriguez
5/29/2008 16:56:42

The astonishing poem “The Love Song of Alfred Prufrock” by T.S. Eliot moved me completely. His use of metaphors, personification and his overall tone interprets an incredible sense of vulnerability that to the readers. He also combines reality with fantasy, explaining exactly how Prufrock creates a “universe” of his own. I admire T.S. Eliot’s tone throughout the poem as it both shocked me and moved me due to the shift in thought the he gave me. Eliot’s way of describing Prufrock as a depressed, secluded man through not only metaphors but also a strong, loud cry grabbed a hold of my attention and never let it go.
Throughout the poem, T.S. Eliot illustrates J. Alfred Prufrock life of solitude; describing the reasons in which he is lonesome. Prufrock’s desire to approach women has always been turned down by his own fear of rejection. Eliot magnificently portrays the character’s depression and his determination to not “disturb the universe” of which he created by using past failure of approaches with women. This completely captured my attention due to the fact that the poet kept switching from reality and fantasy. T.S. Eliot also uses personification to show the character’s act of both procrastination and frustration by insisting that “there will be time to do what is meant to be done in life. Prufrock saying this presents a sense of irony for he never truly partakes in normal, life activities. He excludes himself from women and their “white and bare” faces by declining any chance of taking risks and finding ways of communicating with the real world.
The most compelling figurative use was the metaphor of the “mermaids singing, each to each” as it illustrated Prufrock’s far away dream. He later explains how they will never sing to him, describing not only his depression and loneliness but also the longing he has for a human touch and connection. Eliot’s manner of expressing Prufrock’s battle within himself shook my thoughts and allowed me to see how a person can, on the inside, be empty and disengaged with reality by rejecting any chance of achieving their dreams of a normal life.

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Ashley Roth
5/29/2008 19:05:35

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock is a poem about a hopeless romantic, who has such a low view of himself that he cant even start a relationship.
The author T. S. Elliot wants us to see the speakers view of the world. Elliot’s use of imagery and eccentric details help us realize, the world Prufrock “resides in” is not ours, but his own. The speaker’s world is somewhat mystical and unrealistic like his ideas of the women. Also the dreary images alluded to like hell and mist, led us to realize this is not your average love song. When we think of a love song we usually think of something happy or at least romantic. Unfortunately for Prufrock this is not the case, throughout the poem we hear of him wishing for a relationship but he always shies away from it. He finds his own imaginary world more compelling then the chance of rejection, or a relationship. Prufrock also believes he has time, but by the end of the poem he discovers he is out of time.
This poem warns us today that a life spent wishing is a life wasted. That we must go for it what ever “it” may be no matter how close we get to rejection. What I liked most about this poem is it illustrates what a person feels if the don’t go for there wants/dreams. Elliot makes the life of Prufrock seam dismal, making the reader see that there is no profit to never trying.

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Mike Rodriguez
5/29/2008 22:07:52


In the poem, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by T.S. Eliot, Eliot describes a man who is afraid of talking to women because his fear of rejection. Like most men, J. Alfred Prufrock wants to be able to ask a girl out on a formal date but is fear-stricken at the thought of being rejected. Therefore he always makes excuses to find a reason to approach these women later instead of right now. T.S. Eliot’s use of allusions and vivid imagery help explain the difficult situation Prufrock has put himself in among women.
In the beginning of the poem, Prufrock introduces us on a personal journey through his life and what he imagines it as. He starts by recounting images of very unromantic places, like cheap hotels and deserted streets. This is probably he feels about his disconnection with love because he thinks that everyone is too good for him. Then when he finally does see people, especially women, he avoids them at all cost. He feels that he is an outcast, a person on the outside looking in, as if he does not belong to the higher social class of other human beings. He is degrading himself to a worthless social status. In another way of degrading himself or trying to be non-existent, he explains how he is in a different universe than other people and that if he talks to them it will “disturb the universe.” He compares himself to “a pair of ragged claws, scuttling across the ocean floor.” Prufrock doesn’t feel he is worthy of being human, and when he does make comparisons between himself and other humans most of those people are dead. He alludes to John the Baptist, whose head got cut off and Lazarus, another biblical allusion, who was brought back to life. His allusion to Lazarus may have been that he was giving himself another chance to interact with women in an intimate setting.
However, he does not capitalize on his second chance and all he can do is dream and envision them as he pleases because that is the only place he is in control. T.S. Eliot’s constant allusions and imagery in the poem help portray Prufrock’s constant struggle in a social setting and how he emotionally can’t be strong enough to face his fears and eventually fight and overcome them.

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Kyle Jones
5/30/2008 00:17:18


The self consciousness conveyed by the speaker in T.S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”, reflects a former depiction of me in many ways, such as his fear of approaching a woman, his self descriptions of his own physical appearance, comparing himself to the competition, and inviting the reader to serve as an informal advisor as to whether or not to approach a woman.
Just as Prufrock feels that women are too sophisticated for him, I used to feel that girls could see that I was insecure about myself and therefore I sunk further into a pool of anxiety. Prufrock’s physical description of himself also reflects how I used to describe myself in imprecise descriptions when I was in middle school. While Prufrock describes himself as bald and skinny, I described myself as short, crooked toothed, and ugly. As Prufrock sets a comparison as to how women latched to Michelangelo in a seemingly envious tone, I set comparisons as to how girls liked other guys and not me, also enviously. Prufrock also invites the reader as a friend to give him advice as to whether or not he should approach a woman. I often needed a friend’s approval in order to try and approach a girl. Otherwise I would not have had the courage to approach a girl.
In retrospect, I was a “Prufrock”, a guy who dug too deep into how women thought and fell into a phase of insecurity about myself in all aspects not just physically. Prufrock is the copy of my 12 year old, 13 year old and 14 year old self. Upon reading “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” I was able to look back and see how far I had come from the chapter of my life in which I was faced with major apprehension towards interaction with girls. I was also able to infer that Prufrock’s nature resided in my past identity. I am now Michelangelo in the eyes of other “Prufrocks” in the sense that I am able to interact with girls without feeling self conscience about my appearance because I feel content with how I look due to my growth spurt, my regular orthodontist appointments and my departure from the awkward development stages of early adolescence. As far as personality and intelligence, like Prufrock, I always knew I was an amiable young man and a bright student. My physical appearance was the key to my insecurity.

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Karen Riley
5/30/2008 21:51:16


The poem called “The Love Song to J. Alfred Prufrock” by T.S. Elliot is about a man who thinks so low of himself, that he refuses to take any chance at love, and therefore creates his own “universe” inside his mind.
Throughout the entire poem, Prufrock ask himself many times, “Do I dare?” He asks himself this question when considering pursuing a woman, but he leaves all reality when he automatically assumes he will face rejection. He also talks badly of himself, saying the women will call him old. In this, he knows that he has waited too long to try and find love. Rather than put himself through the humiliation, h just sits and asks himself “why should I?” and says more negative things about himself. Prufrock seems to believe every single woman is out of his league, and so he will never walk up to one and speak. By not walking up to them, he believes he will keep the universe at peace, keeping his mindset that he will “disrupt” the universe by making any attempt at love. By standing back and watching love pass, he is degrading himself. At one point in the poem he refers to himself as not being worthy of being a human.
As time goes on Prufrock realizes he is running out of time, and he begins to refer to love at “it” of a thing of the past that will never come his way again. He believes that even if does, the women will only want to be friends with him, leaving him still lonely.
At the conclusion of the poem, Prufrock decide he will stay in his lonely fantasy world, and choose not to take any risks. In this world, he will not need to worry because no one will notice him, they will simply pass him by, and he will have no need for any love.

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Lakeshia White
5/30/2008 22:53:46

T. S. Eliot’s poem entitled “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” is a story of a young man who is socially challenged when it come to talking to women. This is a problem that many people especially for teenagers my age. I can to so extent, relate to Prufrock and his fear of rejection. I remember when I was in 8th grade there was this boy that I had a crush on for so long. I would plan out what I was going to say and how I was going to say it, but every time that I would go talk to him I would start to got red and blotchy from getting so nervous. After being so embarrassed, I would always avoid him in the hallway until he moved to a different school. As I started to grow and mature, I became comfortable with socializing with the opposite sex. In Eliot’s poem, Prufrock at one point gathers enough courage to take the risk and talk to women. Just as he has the confidence that he needs, he backs down. He prefers to stay in his own fantasy. To me, I think that Prufrock represents the kind of kid who doesn’t really have any friends because he is socially unequipped and would spend all his time in his basement playing Dungeons and Dragons.
With many discomforting events that happened, I have learned that life is all about taking risks. In life we all have two options, we can take risks and hope for a great reward, or we can just let those opportunities pass us by as we watch quietly as other seize their opportunities.

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Alyssa Gerstner
5/30/2008 23:50:42

From the very beginning, T.S. Eliot’s “Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” set a strange picture, after all very few love songs start in hell. As the poem goes on, it begins to make sense. Prufrock is a man without love, and so unsure of himself that he refuses to even try for it. Eliot shows the modern man- a sad and lonely creature who chooses not to live- and seems to asked his reader “Do you dare?”
Profrock is described as an old balding man. He is worried about what people, mainly women, might think about him. He seems convinced that there is no way anyone would like him. He has this picture in his head were he, somehow, someway gets a girl. Who proceeds to break his heart by telling him “This is not what I meant at all”. So because he is so self-destructive, he does not even try. It may see like a study of on man’s issues, but it can also be seen as a challenge to the reader. “What is stopping you from living?” Eliot is asking. For me, this was a really powerful, and thought provoking question. I like to think that I live faster and looser then I really do. Like Prufrock, I live in my head. I might not have as little confidence as him, but there have been several times where I “turned back and descended upon the stair” instead of going forward and actually living. When reading this poem, many of the times that I chickened out came flying back into my face. A ton of what if and maybes filled my mind. I can not imagine living like that my whole life, the way Prufrock must have. He never did anything. He shied away from women, and felt like a “yellow fog” on the outside looking in.
This poem really challenged me to live more in the moment and less in my head. Looking at Prufrock hollow, empty life makes me sure that that is never how I want to live. I do not want to dream of far off mermaids while there are actual living people in the next room. The nest time I get the chance, I will take it. Life is to short to live it doubting ever choice.

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Emily
5/30/2008 23:59:58

In this poem, T. S. Eliot describes the pain and heartache a man endures while watching beautiful women at a party. He is very timid and does not choose to approach any woman he sees. Prufrock describes the relationship between he and the woman as each being in their preferred universe, and by stepping over the boundaries, he would destroy the women's perfect universe and not be able to go back to his own.
This poem gave me an insight to the life of timid men. When I see a boy in the hallway, looking longingly at a girl, I know now that he is debating with himself on whether or not he is "worthy" of the girl's attention.
However, as compelling and interesting this poem is, I don't agree with his philosophy. All Prufrock would have to do is muster up his courage and talk to a woman. I'm sure that it would not be as bad as he thinks. Just like Prufrock, the boys sauntering down the hallway watching the pretty girls should just go and start a conversation. If it were me, I would atleast try to be cordial and nice. I think common people with atleast a little bit of courtesy would do the same.
Though Eliot's poem is very well thought out and rich with literary elements that could put Shakespeare's sonnets to shame, I find a little discrepancy in his thought process. He is looking at life one-sided, and not surveying the whole picture.

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Afaribea Dodi
5/31/2008 00:03:06

Finding love can be hard in a world full of intimidation. This is something J. Alfred Prufrock knows too well. In “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” by T.S. Elliot, Elliot explores the life of a timid man. Prufrock, the shy man, has trouble approaching women. He constantly questions himself, and second guesses his abilities. Elliot uses descriptive words to describe the life of an anti-social, unconfident, hopeless romantic. The vivid words allow one to understand the sadness of a man who is inept when it comes to the opposite sex. The elaborateness of this poem allowed me to recall my attention to a famous theory by Abraham Maslow.
Abraham Maslow is a philosopher who had a theory based on self-actualization. He argues that if one does not take a chance, one will never reach their goals. We have to risk failure in order to succeed. Prufrock is too afraid of “disturbing the universe,” that he can not find the courage to approach women. He does not want to risk rejection, so he makes himself believe that it is better to keep things synonymous. Maslow also believed that if we never reach self-actualization we will live boring predictable lives. Prufrock is evidence of a man whose life is dull, and depressing. He lacks self-efficacy which results in his fear of meeting women. People with self-actualization embrace the facts of the world rather than avoiding them. Sadly, Prufrock avoids the facts. Unfortunately, for Prufrock, this love song does not have a happy ending.

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Camille Warren
5/31/2008 00:33:56


The love song of Alfred J Prufrock starts out with a quote from Dante’s inferno. “If I thought that I was replying to someone who would ever return to the world, this flame would cease to flicker. But since no one ever returns from these depths alive, if what I’ve heard is true, I will answer you without fear of infamy.” This quote is like him basically saying I’m going to be honest you. All reservations are set aside.
It almost feels as if when he speaks of the patient etherized upon the table it’s almost a transitioning point in which time now freezes and all that was ceases to exist. All reservations are now brought to the surface and Prufrock is forced to come face to face with his demons.
Throughout the poem Prufrock struggles with deciding to take a risk and speak to the girls or not. At the beginning of the poem Prufrock purposes a question that he does not quite answer, the question I believe he is referring to is “Is it worth it?.” This question is in reference to anything in life, specifically is it worth disturbing my universe for the slight chance of assimilating into society. In the poem, Prufrock speaks about his longing to be with the women that come and go the women are not just women but they symbolize everything that he feels is above him.
Prufrock had his mind made up before he even thought of approaching the women, and for him it was not worth it.
*This is indeed a beautiful and unconventional love song. Love is about honesty, fear and quite possibly every emotion under the sun. We have become accustomed to the beautiful soft sung melodies filled with moonlit dreams of Shakespearian themes, but, love is not full of just moonlight and stardust. Love is scary, full of risks and points where you become uncomfortable. Eliot’s love song is the epitome of love, the fear, the confusion and the times we feel as if time freezes just for us and there is no one else around and we are forced to go through certain half deserted streets. This piece, even though not as delicate as most love songs tend to be, is no less of a love song, depicting the strongest side of love.





* This was in my previous paper but, I still feel the same way about this poem and subject. I hope its okay that I added it.

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ashley holley
5/31/2008 00:52:18

It has been said the “ignorance is bliss,” meaning that one does not know anything and you does not worry about anything which equals them being happy. After review T.S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” the thought of that saying “ignorance is bliss” came to mind.
The poem brought about this saying to me because the speaker seems to be especially smart and aware of women and the complications involved when attempting to court one. With his awareness of this, in result the speaker lacks confidence. His low self-esteem shows when the speaker says, “I have seen my head brought in upon a platter,” which shows that he fears rejection. He is not assured of him self at all, for he does not feel that he is worthy enough of even being human when he states that “[he] should have been a pair of ragged claws/Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.” The speaker feels this way because he feels that these women are “out of his league” in his mind. The women he speaks of in the poem are all in an upper class and he feels that he does not deserve him, which results in low confidence and self-esteem.
The speaker evoked me to think about “ignorance is bliss” several times throughout the poem by procrastinating from speaking to women by say, “there will be time” repeatedly. Also because he continually ask, “how should I presume” or “how should I begin.”
The speaker of this poem represents the modern man in the early 1900’s and comparing that man to a man from the year 2008 shows that nothing much has change. Now and before both men doubted their selves and struggled with women. They both also fear rejection, and maybe if they were ignorant to the feelings women may feel about them they would take a chance and realize that there is a women that does not see or judge them for how they view them selves already. Therefore for a man of 2008 or a man of 1919 “ignorance [can mean] bliss.”

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Brianne Thomas
5/31/2008 00:55:47

“The Love Song of Alfred Prufrock” by T.S. Eliot is a poem that analyzes the mind of an insecure man. In the poem Eliot uses a combination of imagery and tone to paint a picture of the dread and fear that Prufrock experiences when faced with groups of women, and the rejection that may come with approaching them.
By beginning the narration as if romance doesn’t matter, he displays how he thinks women see him. As sloppy, dirty, or not quite right; he unveils his deepest fears of inadequacy. Prufrocks believes women are too good for him with their sophistication and talks of Michelangelo. He doesn’t know the right way to talk, or dress, or act and feels completely out of place and unwanted. He views women as monstrous and judging, keeping him “pinned and wriggling on the wall.” The pain and fear he feels are all built on the basis of rejection, of leaving the norm to take chances and risks.
This poem was not only negative though, although the tone and the poem itself are entirely negative, it has a positive effect. After discussing it with others and analyzing it myself, I feel it shows women a different side to men, that they’re not all animals just preying on the helpless and innocent; they’re scared too. Now, I realize the courage it takes just for a guy to look someone in the eye, that maybe they deserve a chance not just a look that says “go away,” that everyone at least deserves the time of day.
Life shouldn’t have to be wasted chasing dreams that will never come true, and it’s up to others to give the Prufrocks of the world the courage to accomplish their dreams. Although in the poem, Prufrock finds himself out of time, there is still time for others, and the amount of time it takes to shut someone down, is the same as the amount of time it would take just to give a pleasant smile. And that smile, whether you know it or not, may change someone’s life and help them to accomplish their dreams.

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Maria
5/31/2008 01:00:18

Poetry often imitates real life. Poets are people too, and they experience raw human emotion just as any other person. This poem by T.S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, is a poem that deals with the raw human emotions of love, fear, and insecurity. Often I read poetry and enjoy it at a "shallow" level, but this particular poem spoke to me. Everyone feels love. Everyone feels afraid. Everyone feels insecure. Eliot understands the universitality of emotions and so he writes a poem that expresses these emotions in a way that can be understood by all and affects all who read it.
In this poem, Eliot uses his character, J. Alfred Prufrock, to play the role of a man who believes he is not acceptable to society and will absolutely never be accepted by women. Women, in fact, frighten him, especially large groups of them. He always feels as though he has nothing of consequence to say and avoids contact at all costs. Prufrock desires to talk to the women, he too yearns for love. However, like most men, he is too scared to even approach them. His hope for love, his fear of approaching stranger, and his insecurity around women makes him a universal character. Because Eliot creates a universal character, more people are able to relate. There is nothing fantasy about this poem. The only example of romanticism is towards the end where Prufrock imagines the pretty women to be mermaids, but that is just his imagination and everyone has an imagination. Even his brief period of imagination is universal.
This poem has a way of speaking to everyone. Whether someone feel connected to the women who Prufrock is afraid will make a mockery of him, or one feels more closely associated with Prufrock, who has universal emotions, they can still relate to this poem. It is a classic piece that really made a lasting imprison.

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Mansford Masters
5/31/2008 21:20:04

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Mansford Masters
5/31/2008 21:20:50

“The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”, by T.S. Eliot, displays a magnificent yet underlying irony that adds a whole new level of meaning to the poem. Unlike most love poems, where love is celebrated and rejoiced, in this poem the narrator (Mr. Prufrock) instead dwells on how nervous and self conscientious he feels when considering talking to the opposite sex. This to me is the irony of self importance; Mr. Prufrock feels that his actions are important enough to “disturb the universe”, but not significant enough to take the risk of talking to the girls. As a teenage boy, this is easy to relate to, and so I was able to share in the emotions and thoughts that Mr. Prufrock was describing.
“The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” is a love song about love lost, rather than love gained. Throughout the poem Mr. Prufrock dwells on what the possible consequences of “disturbing the universe” might be. He repetitively asks himself, “ ‘do I dare’ take the chance?” He repetitively talks about “the women” who “come and go talking of Michelangelo”, signifying how sophisticated the girls seem to him. The repetition is a symbol of how he is constantly stalling, never actually taking the chance. Everyday I wonder to myself, “Do I dare?” It is all too easy to notice the consequences of what might happen if you stick your head out, and like Mr. Prufrock, it is all too easy to get stuck on them.
The irony of self importance I believe is what carries out the purpose of this poem. The overall purpose that T.S. Eliot is trying to get across to his readers is that the time spent dwelling on the possible consequences of taking a risk is a far greater consequence in itself than any that may result from taking that risk. If one tries to weigh it out and build more evidence for a positive outcome than for a negative one, they will get stuck on reality and eventually “drown”.
This poem really hit home, as I am facing these same difficulties everyday. “A Love Song for J. Alfred Prufrock” really makes you realize how small the consequences of taking social risks are compared to the consequences of never taking the risk at all. T.S. Eliot, with his stinging imagery and somewhat melancholic metaphors, teaches his audience a very serious lesson about life while using a casual but slightly cynical tone.


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Byron Wigfall
6/2/2008 02:40:02

T.S. Eliot’s “Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” embodies many Modern Era characteristics.
Prufrock being the Modern individual has nothing going for him, and in turn meets an unhappy end. His problem is talking to women, and his inability to approach them mush less hold a conversation. Pessimism leading to despair can be seen in Prufrock’s constant doubt in his own ability and pessimism toward his situation, leading only to disparity when he, in the end, turns to a fantasy world. The style of this poem reminds me of a sort of stream-of-consciousness style in that the lines are short and random at times, with thoughts that are not always completed. While reading this I was surprised at how much I could relate with the text, because I have a lot of thoughts racing through my head that may not always come out in words. The thing about Prufrock is that nothing ever forms into words. He is almost trapped in his own mind, imprisoned by his own insecurities.
It is strange that this poem is titled “Love Song” seeing as the poem starts of with an epigraph set in hell. But Modern Era individuals, and their distrust of surface thought and search for deeper meaning lead me to the fact that it is not that Prufrock has an abundance of love, but that it is his yearning yet lack of love that titles the poem. I don’t think that Elliot wrote this in order to turn around some humble moral that may change someone’s life. I think, at the time, he wanted to bring about the bleakness of life, contrary to Romanticist ideas.
This poem is a window to reality. This poem presents the harsh reality that many poems of the time brought about. Many times the reader is led to think that Prufrock may come full-circle and possibly pick himself off the ground, but it never happens, and as a result he isolates himself within that prison of insecurity.

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    S. Brandt

    This is my first attempt at blogging, so please be patient with me.  Incorporating a blog into the AP curriculum will help facilitate discussion that can be rewarding for everyone.  Here you will be able to post your responses online and to see what the rest of your classmates are analyzing as well.  Enjoy the experience and let me know what you think.

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