The negative urban images in the poem are juxtaposed with many very pleasant images. Some of these are the beautiful women and art in salons, and the mermaids frolicking in the sea at the end. This "feminine imagery" stays with me, rather than the negative ones of growing old, smoky streets, and lonely men. That is partly because of the rhythm and the sound of the words as they slip off the tongue, sublimating the ugliness inherent in some of the lines. mas-teacup-by-kate Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow streets And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows? ... I should have been a pair of ragged claws Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.

The Image below is of a photo I took outside Il Palazzetto Bar near the Spanish Steps in Rome in 2012. It suggests obliquely for me the unexpressed sentiments in the poem of loss, love, and melancholy related to growing old. Eliot was reading Dante Alighieri's main works when he wrote this poem. The photo at the bottom of this post is of a statue I came across on a street corner, during my first visit to the Eternal City in 2009. palazzo.roma. The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock Let us go then, you and I, When the evening is spread out against the sky Like a patient etherized upon a table;

Eliot's poem, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock", and especially the second and third lines, are said to herald in modernism in poetry.  His is an excellent example of a unique voice. The voice reverberates from the words, almost jumping out of the page. It resonates for the reader, reaching out to decode the metaphorical content. T.S. Eliot wrote this poem in 1910 when he was twenty-two years old. It was first published in 1915 at the instigation of Ezra Pound. [embed][/embed]

I'm remembering the Jacaranda Festivals of my childhood at Grafton in northern New South Wales, with a certain nostalgia. Did such a time of innocence really exist? Is this celebration different today? Below is a photo from my sister's album of her, Susan, and our little sister, Jill, folk dancing with school friends at the Grafton Jacaranda Festival in the fifties. jill-susan-dancing-jacaranda-festival This annual spring-time celebration begins at the end of October and lasts until the first week in November. It has gone on since nineteen thirty-four, and was the first such folk festival in the country. The Grafton Jacaranda Festival  is in full swing in my hometown as I write this post. It is a spring celebration that is held every year during the first week in November. At this time, the jacaranda trees are in full bloom. Some childhood memories are golden. Or, in this case, mauve, lilac, purple, and, as Dad once said, "heliotrope". It's hard to pin down the actual colour of the flowers that bloom on the jacaranda trees, and form carpets of blossoms on the surface of the roads and avenues. Sometimes they seem lighter hued, mauve in my memory, at other times, darkly purple.