Sunday, December 16, 2007

But the answers I came up with didn’t fit

It has been an absurdly long journey, but it's over and a new one begins now. Tomorrow's the first day of the new job at Prestigious. I'd written earlier that it started January 8, but they moved it up. Yes, tomorrow I will be counted among the Few, the Proud, the Faculty; and the future of my position will be based not so much on whether I'm skilled at teaching, but whether I'm likable enough to be asked to stay. I think that if there ever was a time to quote old Tom's finest work, it's now.

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!)
It is 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?

Truer words were never spoke, boy.

1 comment:

Michael5000 said...

Mmmmm... Prufrock.....