An Excerpt from The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot
This excerpt is one of my favorite parts. Notice the conflation of cosmic thoughts and a lonely and suffocating insecurity.
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;
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.
In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.
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?
You can read the whole poem here.
Thomas Stearns Eliot was born in Missouri in 1888, but spent most of his life in London. Arguably the most influential poet of the 20th Century, he won the Noble Prize for Literature in 1948. Eliot died in London in 1965.