The Love Song of J. Alfred…Murdock?!


Do I dare disturb the universe? ~T.S. Eliot

Do I look like the kind of guy who would do something crazy? ~H.M. Murdock

This is T.S. Eliot, master poet......and this is a Crazy Fool

If you’re an English major like me (if you’re thinking about it…turn away before it’s TOO LATE), chances are you’ll have read T.S. Eliot’s poem “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.” My junior AP Lit teacher was so enamored of dear old Alfie I was convinced she wanted to have his politic, cautious and meticulous kids. We read it and re-read it and parsed it. I still couldn’t understand what the hell Eliot was trying to say. I preferred his more whimsical, not to mention relatable, Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats.

That being said, it is Valentine’s Day, and I find myself single once again. I decided to re-visit the poem of my torment with a fresh eye and a fresh perspective. I’m giving my readers a treat: a helpfully abridged version of Eliot’s poem about lost love, commented upon by the honorary site mascot, H.M. Murdock! Let’s all give him a hand and kick things off with a bang…

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

by T.S. Eliot

(Selected highlights, with illustrations and commentary by H.M. Murdock)

-Let us go then, you and I/When the evening is spread out against the sky-

(Oooh…I think I like this poem already! Schizophrenia *and* hallucinations! Gotta tell the doc about it in the next session!)

-The muttering retreats of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels-

(More like a Faceman sorta thing, ya think?)

-In the room the women come and go/Talking of Michelangelo-

(As long as they’re not talking about me. That’s just plain rude.)

-The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes/The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes-

(Think Billy would be upset if I told him about that? Billy, DOWN! BAD DOG!)

-Time for you and time for me/And time yet for a hundred indecisions/And for a hundred visions and revisions-

(That’s what I keep tellin’ B.A., ya know, that I’m not really crazy? He never believes me, though.)

-Time to turn back and descend the stair/With a bald spot in the middle of my hair/[They will say: “How his hair is growing thin!”]-

(How’d they know? Why d’you think I wear this baseball cap all the time?)

-Do I dare/disturb the universe?-

(It’s a lot easier than making a certain big angry mudsucker upset…)

-For I have known them all/known them all; Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons/I have measured out my life with coffee-spoons-

(Not much else to do when you’re locked up in the nuthouse, muchachos.)

-And I have known the eyes already, known them all/The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase-

(I’ll formulated phrase the so-called experts. Mwahahahaha.)

-Is it perfume from a dress/That makes me so digress?-

(I love girls. Especially when they bring me comic books and boxes of Twinkies. Somebody needs to make perfume that smells like Twinkies.)

-I should have been a pair of ragged claws/Scuttling across the floors of silent seas-

(Y’know, I had a pet lobster called Thermidor once. It didn’t end well for him.)

-Though I have seen my head (grown slightly bald) brought in upon a platter/I am no prophet-and here’s no great matter-

(OK, see if I read your poetry when YOU start to lose a few hairs off your noggin. Neener neener.)

-And it would have been worth it, after all/After the cups, the marmelade, the tea-

(I love tea! Makes me think of Old Blighty and kippers and herringbone tweed! God Save the Queen!)

-To have bitten off the matter with a smile/To have squeezed the universe into a ball-

(Sounds a little like Pac-Man, don’t it? Chomp, chomp, nom, nom.)

That is not what I meant at all/That is not it, at all-

(Oops, too late.)

-No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be/Am an attendant lord, one that will do/To swell a progress, start a scene or two-

(That’s a relief! I can go back to being Professor Nutty-Buddy and Rex the Wonder Dog!)

-Full of high sentence, almost ridiculous/Almost, at times, the Fool-

(This Eliot guy really gets me. Really gets all of us.)

 

-Till human voices wake us, and we drown-

(I’d rather be drowned in chocolate pudding, thank you very much…)

To my readers: I love that you love P&Q so much. I’m always open to your suggestions, comments and questions as to how I can make this site better.

As for all of you on Valentine’s Day, may you keep the love you have and find the love you want…in whatever form it takes. Happy V-Day and remember…tomorrow is half-price chocolate day! Whoo-hoo!

My special thanks to Leanne at the Dwight Schultz Gallery for all the caps I use whenever I do one of these posts. She’s awesome.

Be sure to click “Like” if you enjoyed this post and add us to your subscription and blogroll lists!

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~ by Howlin' Mad Heather on February 14, 2012.

6 Responses to “The Love Song of J. Alfred…Murdock?!”

  1. Haha you’re awesome yourself. I loved Murdock’s commentary. You write him very well.

  2. haha! this made me laugh. quite brilliant.

  3. I have indeed measured my life with coffee spoons….and I do grow old, grow old. 🙂

    I love the reinterpretation of a perennial favorite poem. Hee hee!

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