how shall i presume


Sir Anthony Hopkins reads
The Love Song Of J. Alfred Prufrock
by T. S. Eliot (1888-1965)

S'io credesse che mia risposta fosse
A persona che mai tornasse al mondo,
Questa fiamma staria senza piu scosse.
Ma perciocche giammai di questo fondo
Non torno vivo alcun, s'i'odo il vero,
Senza tema d'infamia ti rispondo. *

Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherised 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.

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

The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes,
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening,
Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,
Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,
Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap,
And seeing that it was a soft October night,
Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.

And indeed there will be time
For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,
Rubbing its back upon the window panes;
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.

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

And indeed there will be time
To wonder, ‘Do I dare?’ and, ‘Do I dare?’
Time to turn back and descend the stair,
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair–
(They will say: 'How his hair is growing thin!’)
My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin–
(They will say: 'But how his arms and legs are thin!’)
Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

For I have known them all already, known them all–
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room.
So how should I presume?

And I have known the eyes already, known them all–
The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,
And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,
When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall,
Then how should I begin
To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways?
And how should I presume?

And I have known the arms already, known them all–
Arms that are braceleted and white and bare
(But in the lamplight, downed with light brown hair!)
Is it perfume from a dress
That makes me so digress?
Arms that lie along a table, or wrap about a shawl.
And should I then presume?
And how should I begin?

… . .

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.

… . .

And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully!
Smoothed by long fingers,
Asleep … tired … or it malingers,
Stretched on on the floor, here beside you and me.
Should I, after tea and cakes and ices,
Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?
But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed,
Though I have seen my head (grown slightly bald) brought in
upon a platter,
I am no prophet–and here’s no great matter;
I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,
And in short, I was afraid.

And would it have been worth it, after all,
After the cups, the marmalade, the tea,
Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,
Would it have been worth while,
To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
To have squeezed the universe into a ball
To roll it toward some overwhelming question,
To say: 'I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all’–
If one, settling a pillow by her head,
Should say: 'That is not what I meant at all;
That is not it, at all.’

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 floor–
And this, and so much more?–
It is impossible to say just what I mean!
But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a
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 …
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

I do not think that they will sing to me.

I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.

We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.

* Epigraph:

If I thought my answer were given
to anyone who would ever return to the world,
this flame would stand still without moving any further.
But since never from this abyss
has anyone ever returned alive, if what I hear is true,
without fear of infamy I answer you.

~ Dante - Inferno XXVII, 61-66

❛ Repost & BOLD which lines of famous poetry apply to your muse

i saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness // starving hysterical naked // tyger tyger, burning bright // i have done it again // do not go gentle into that good night // the sea is calm to-night // let us go then, you and i // april is the cruelest month // pretty women wonder where my secret lies // there is a place where the sidewalk ends. // i carry your heart with me (i carry it in my heart) // two roads diverged in a yellow wood. // whose woods these are i think i know, // let us twain walk aside from the rest // once upon a midnight dreary, while i pondered, weak and weary, // i will show you fear in a handful of dust//and how shall I presume // i taught myself to live simply and wisely // it so happens i am sick of being a man // i wandered lonely as a cloud // does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? // o my love is like a red, red rose // o captain! my captain! our fearful trip is done // out of the night that covers me // it was many and many a year ago // tread softly because you tread on my dreams // you may write me down in history // do not stand at my grave and weep // some say the world will end in fire // some say in ice // hope is the thing with feathers // the wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees // no man is an island // remember me when i am gone away // i met a traveler from an antique land // ‘twas brillig, and the slithy toves // this is thy hour o soul // when we wear the mask that grins and lies // death be not proud // and death shall have no dominion. // laugh, and the world laughs with you // the art of losing isn’t hard to master // to see a world in a grain of sand // carries in itself the light of hidden flowers // is there anybody there? said the traveller // nobody heard him, the dead man // that crazed girl improving her music // come to me in the silence of the night // where the mind is without fear and the head is held high // when you are old and grey and full of sleep // in flanders’ fields the poppies blow // i thought of you and how you love this beauty // life, believe, is not a dream // it may be misery not to sing at all // if tarry space no limit knows // the shore of the heart where I have roots // come live with me and be my love // had we but world enough and time // my heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains my sense // bright star, would i were steadfast as thou art- // thou still unravish’d bride of quietness // what spring does with the cherry trees // how do i love thee? let me count the ways //heaven is what i cannot reach // my dear, my dear, i know // in visions of the dark night // shall i compare thee to a summers day? // break, break, break // she walks in beauty // i had a dream, which was not at all a dream // he clasps the ring with crooked hands // had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths // but I, being poor, have only my dreams // I have spread my dreams under your feet // I went out to the hazel wood // with apple blossom in her hair // though I am old with wandering // I will find out where she has gone // the golden apples of the sun // and nodding by the fire // loved the sorrows of your changing face // and hid his face amid a crowd of stars // behold me, for I cannot sleep // though rose-leaves die of grieving // a little bit of everything // oh, never by way of advice // the reveille sang out in the yards of the barracks // he is not here; but far away // your hand upon my chest is my hand // as certain dark things are to be loved // your hands the color of a savage harvest // as if you were on fire from within // the plant that never blooms // vines on melancholy walls // I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul //  I bequeath myself to the dirt to grow from the grass I love //  but then I was young. // I would like to be the air that inhabits you for a moment only // I would like to be that unnoticed and that necessary. //  You do not have to be good // You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves. //  To be some other person for a day // For I have known them all already, known them all // Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons // I have measured out my life with coffee spoons. // Tomorrow, the same day // These fragments I have shored against my ruins. // I thought that love would last forever, I was wrong. // But we were a maybe and never a must when it should have been us. // Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light // I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night // The blood-dimmed tide is loosed //and everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned // The calm, cool face of the river asked me for a kiss // Be an outcast; be pleased to walk alone //  You want a better story. Who wouldn’t? // Your absence has gone through me like a thread through a needle. // Everything I do is stitched with its color. // there are worse things than being alone // but it often takes decades to realize this // and most often when you do it’s too late // and there’s nothing worse than too late. // ((add more where it applies!))

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anonymous asked:

hey, I have a prompt for you if youre interested in writing it. the two of them should be 'helping' someone make make cookies, but then one or both of them gets stranded in the flour and has to be saved!

(Awe, I like it! Thanks for the prompt!)

Laughter bubbles up and escapes past Jedediah’s lips. Octavius smiles cheekily as a response to Jedediah’s laughter.

When Jedediah has relatively calmed himself down, he speaks. “Now why d’ya think we’d be able to help you with that?”

Ahkmenrah keeps himself from pouting. “Because no one else wishes to aid me in baking cookies!“

Jedediah gently sighs as Ahkmenrah stares down at the miniatures. He begins to protest, but Octavius speaks before he is able to get a word out. “We shall try.”

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