a love song, unsung

  And would it have been worth it, after all,
After the cups, the marmalade,
the tea,
Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,
Would it
have been worth while,
To
have bitten off the matter with a smile,
To have squeezed the universe into
a ball
To roll it toward some overwhelming question,
To say: “I am
Lazarus, come from the dead,
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you
all”
If one, settling a pillow by her head,
Should say, “That is not
what I meant at all.
That is not it, at all.”

And would it have
been worth it, after all,
Would it have been worth while,

After the sunsets and the dooryards and the
sprinkled streets,
After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts
that trail along the floor—
And this, and so much more?—
It is
impossible to say just what I mean!
But as if a magic lantern threw the
nerves in patterns on a screen:
Would it have been worth while
If one,
settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl,
And turning toward the window,
should say:
“That is not it at all,
That is not what I meant, at
all.”

– from ‘The Love Song of J, Alfred Prufrock, TS Elliot (1915)

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