Painting of Dante and Beatrice

Prufrock: Part I

Sentiments in the poem are of loss, love, and melancholy related to growing old. Eliot was reading Dante Alighieri’s main works when he wrote this poem. Above is a portrait of Dante and Beatrice by Henry Holiday. See Eliot’s full poem at:

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;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

Then how should I begin
To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways?
And how should I presume?

T.S. Eliot