I've just returned from a successful recitation of "The Hollow Men" at my school's annual poetry reading contest. Reactions to the poem were mixed, ranging from great enthusiasm (thankfully, from the judge), to general boredom and bemusement. What do you think of this poem? Does it move you, or are you left with a feeling that it's just pretentious, pessimistic and somewhat dull? Also, if you like it, how would you present it? I went roughly (in overall tone) I. Monotonous and 'dry' II. Foolhardy and slightly rushed III. Afraid and confused IV. Terrified and angry V. Normal voice: contemplative and thoughtful, but gradually getting quieter and less enthusiastic, proceeding to mumble and 'whimper' the "Thine is/Life is/..." bit. Italics Voice: Staring directly at the audience and reading slowly with a deep voice.
I came across this poem while chatting about legendary poets with a friend, but I just couldn't figure out what the yellow smoke signifies... Does anyone else know? I love this poem, I just wish I could understand it better!
Does anyone know what is Eliot's attitude to Prufrock? Does he pity or hate him?
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