I recently had the opportunity to teach “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by T. S. Eliot in my English III classes. One of my college professors really loved this poem, so I remember spending a lot of time analyzing it. At the time, I wasn’t overly impressed, but as I read it over and over in each of my classes, the more I was really touched by it. Many of my students were also challenged and moved.
If you have never read it, you can find it here. I don’t particularly want to compare myself to Prufrock, because he is a man who struggles so much to make any decisions in life that he lives his whole life without taking any action or making any decisions. He ends up measuring his life, not by the amount of people he’s influenced or even by his accomplishments, but by the amount of coffee he has drunk.
Nevertheless, I can’t help but ask myself the same question Prufrock poses to himself…
“Do I dare disturb the universe?”
What does that question mean to you?