One entry on Crawford's list of the ten best T. S. Eliot poems:
“The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”Read about another entry on the list.
First published in the Chicago magazine Poetry 100 years ago, in the summer of 1915 when its author got married, but written earlier when Eliot was twenty-two and living in Paris and Munich, this is the disconcerting work that opened Eliot’s first book of poems in 1917. Its opening words, “Let us go then, you and I”, set the tone. The first line would be so much more assertive if it began not with “Let us go” but with “Let’s go”. That difference in phrasing tells you almost all you need to know about J. Alfred Prufrock. The name Prufrock came from the poet’s boyhood St Louis and was particularly associated with, ahem, bedding. More than any other poem in the English language, this one marked the arrival of Modernism in literature. Several early readers thought it mad.
Read, or listen to, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.”