It’s my blog and I’ll gush if I want to
And indeed there will be time
For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,
Rubbing its back upon the window-panes;
There will be time, there will be time
If the girls from Sex and the City were becoming my constant companions, this year, then The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock was becoming my refrain. I had read it several times in school and college, but forgotten about it until Wendy Knits quoted the line, “do I dare to eat a peach?” this Spring. I remembered that I had always liked the poem, looked it up, and liked it even more now than I had before. I took to quoting lines of it when convenient. My favorite, which I recited to Sparks the first time we met, was
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.
Sparks, like myself, has Anglophilic tendencies. He has also noted my tendency to memorize chunks of poems and novels, and recite them at will. So a couple of weeks ago, when he mentioned that he really liked the beginning of Prufrock, especially the way the fog rubbed its muzzle against the windowpane–I just thought it was sweet Anglophilia. And on Tuesday evening, as we sat curled up together on my back deck, when he began to recite Prufrock from the beginning, I was tickled and delighted. When he finished my favorite four lines, he said, “let me drop a question on your plate.” And that was that.
It’s an odd poem to associate with an engagement, and so it is. It’s ours. Indeed, in Bonaire,
We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.