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
And this, and so much more?--
It is impossible to say just what I mean I
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."
No I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
Am an attendant lord, one that will do
To swell a progress, start a scene or two,
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
Deferential, glad to be of use,
Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous--
Almost, at times, the Fool.
I grow old ... I grow old .
A very short book of twelve poems, including The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, which alone is worth downloading the book. The other poems are less impressive, and a couple are the sort of rhyming doggerel that would show up later in Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats (and become a Broadway musical.) But even in his minor poems Eliot managed to slap words around in striking ways.
It's hard to do anything but admire the writing.