The power of indecision

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This poem is obviously a love song. I really found it funny when I was asking myself what this poem was all about. I was trying to think of what T.S. Eliot was trying to get across. But when I took the advice given in the introduction of this book (don't try to think too deep into what is being said, just let it come to you) I found something very interesting about it. This play is about indecision. To be perfectly honest, this guy is a procrastinator and he does nothing but think. Hmmm... who does this remind us of. Actually, the irony of this whole thing is what Eliot wrote on page 173:

"No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was I meant to be;"

He thinks so much about what he wants to do that he never gets to meet this girl. He gets so off track that by the end of the poem, he's thinking about weird mermaids in the ocean.

"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."

I really liked this line. Eliot really does a great job of making words be something more than just what we're reading on the page. This passage just kind of rolls off of the tounge. It seems to me that this man has seen himself have a chance to talk to this girl, and in a sense he saw the person holding his coat laugh at him and call him "chicken." It seems to me that he kind of dared him to go talk to her. Then in the last line he admits that he was just too afraid to do it and he chickened out.

"And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of toast and tea."

I think that these lines really sum up the poem. To the man in this poem, time is moving slowly. He wants to tell this woman that he loves her but he can't make the decision to do it. I can relate to him because there have been things in my life that I was afraid to do. And when I'm afraid, my mind works like a machine in order to find all of the excuses that I can use to not have to do it.

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This page contains a single entry by Andy published on February 9, 2006 9:48 PM.

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