Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherized upon a table; Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question….
Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”
Let us go and make our visit.
This is an excerpt from T.S. Eliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. If I like a poem, chances are it either (1) has end rhymes, (2) has good imagery, (3) makes me feel like I’m in the poem, or (4) makes me think. This poem falls under all four of these. The person directly address me with “Let us go then, you and I” and I feel like I’m in a fairly empty city with the sun going down in the background, painting the sky on fire. I wonder what I’m doing in this city.
These two paintings capture this poem for me. This poem also reminds me of The Valley of Ashes in F. Scott’s Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby because of the gloomy undertone. I feel like the people in the poem (besides those that aren’t even there) have just finished working long hours and have a bit of time before the sky becomes black to enjoy their time.
A poet I really love is Shel Silverstein. Anyone can enjoy his poems and his whimsy. I had always passed by “Where the Sidewalk Ends” in the library and bookstore as a child. I’ve only recently got into his work a few weeks ago (I had read his poem “Masks” a few years back, and I had decided to explore more of his work). His poems range from humorous to deep to dark, and they never fail to make me think about the poem even after I’ve finished reading it. Here are a few that I really enjoy (enlarge image by dragging it to the search bar):
I know that a lot of people don’t like poetry. I didn’t care for it before, but it’s been growing on me. If you don’t like reading poems, I hope these change your feelings toward them. And if you already like reading poems, I hope you enjoyed!