Elements of Literature Fifth Course
LE0 11-13.3
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T. S. Eliot
More About the Writer
Pioneer of Present-day Poetry
At a time when poetry had been comforting and sentimental, T. S. Eliot wrote The Waste Land. Initially, his vulgar, free-verse poem “went off like a bomb in a genteel drawing-room,” but his style led a revolution in poetry. Open the pages of Time 100 to find out why Time magazine has included T. S. Eliot in its list of the most important people of the twentieth century.
More from the Writer
Another View of Spring
Far from describing springtime with warm, rejuvenating images, T. S. Eliot called April “the cruelest month, breeding / Lilacs out of the dead land.” Take a new look at springtime with a hike through Eliot’s The Waste Land. Along the path you might encounter planted corpses in bloom, rivers sweating oil and tar, and dead men who’ve lost their bones.
Choices: Building Your Portfolio, page 671
Choices 5: “Let Us Go Then . . .”
J. Alfred Prufrock’s monologue wouldn’t be very interesting if Prufrock weren’t a unique character with desires, eccentricities, and a complete repertoire of past experiences. Before you write your dramatic monologue, try to create a character with Prufrock’s depth. Head over to Baylor University for tips on Creating Memorable Characters.
Choices 7: Talking It Through
Regardless of whom you choose to hold a conversation with Prufrock, you’ll want to be sure to avoid the pitfalls of sloppy dialogue. For advice on writing effective dialogue, visit The Craft of Writing at Baylor University. Learn to pass the potatoes, build tension, and avoid the exposition blues.
Across the Web
Eliot’s Voice: Like “Lazarus, Come from the Dead”
T. S. Eliot died before you were born, so you won’t get the chance to hear him read his poems in person. You can, however, catch his real voice at Voices & Visions. Take a seat in Eliot’s Web audience for an audio-visual presentation of “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.” Does his voice shape your interpretation of the poem?
The Imagist Manifesto
Although he is known for his many scholarly allusions to classical literature and history, T. S. Eliot also created startlingly precise visual images. It’s not surprising, since he had close ties to Ezra Pound’s Imagist movement. Step into a virtual classroom at the University of Pennsylvania’s Alumverse for a brief overview of the Imagists’ philosophy of poetry.
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