Today I went to the bookshop. There were so many books I wanted to buy but I had decided that I was only allowed to buy one today. After a long period or walking up and down the quiet isles I finally decided on the 80th Anniversary Edition of T.S. Eliot's Selected Poems. Its beautiful black and which cover illustration by Clare Curtis held a large portion of its appeal. I am thoroughly enjoying my new book, so I thought I shall share a piece of it with you.
From The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock:
'S’io credesse che mia risposta fosse
A persona che mai tornasse al mondo,
Questa fiamma staria senza piu scosse.
Ma perciocche giammai di questo fondo
Non torno vivo alcun, s’i’odo il vero,
Senza tema d’infamia ti rispondo.
Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherised upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question...
Oh, do not ask, 'What is it?'
Let us go and make our visit.'
'And indeed there will be time
To wonder, 'Do I dare?' and, 'Do I dare?'
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!')
My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin -
(They will say: 'But how his arms and legs are thin!')
Do I dare?
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.'
(This is only a portion of the poem, but the rest is equally beautiful)
Image via A Thousand Goodnights.