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Annotations from BC Southams A Students Guide to the Selected Poems of TS Eliot and The Norton Anthology of English Literature Title Orginal title Prufrock Among the Women J Alfred Prufrock parallels Eliots signature - T Stearns Eliot - at the time of writing 1909-1911 Epigraph Lines are from Dantes Inferno spoken by the character of Count Guido da Montefeltro Dante meets the punished Guido a false counselor in the Eighth chasm of Hell where Guido is imprisoned in a flame Guido says he is speaking freely to Dante about his evil life only because he thinks Dante is dead and cannot return to earth to report it Translated from the original Italian If I thought that my reply would be to someone who would ever return to the world this flame would stay without further movement but as no one has ever returned alive from this depth if what I hear is true I answer you without fear of infamy spread out 2 This metaphor occurs many times in Henri Bergsons Time and Free Will 1889 to bolster the idea of duration While at Harvard Eliot frequently referred to this book in his writings about Bergson In the room the women come and goMichelangelo 13-14 35-36 French Symbolist and heavy influence on Eliot Jules Laforgue has a similar line about the masters of the Sienne school Eliot parodies Laforgue but creates a realistic scene of intellectual gossip Michelangelo Renaissance Italian sculptor painter and poet Fog 15 According to Eliot the smoke from the factories of his hometown St Louis And indeed there will be time 23 Cf Had we but world enough and time from Metaphysical poet Andrew Marvells To His Coy Mistress The speaker of the poem argues to his coy mistress that they could take their time in courtship games only if they were immortal ironically Prufrock deludes himself into thinking there will be time to court his lady or ladies works
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