A Portrait of a Lady

Continuing to read T.S. Elliot, this seems to continue from the previous poem. This poem rings in me more than the first, though it seems to move from the October love affair and into the December ending of the affair. The mixing of music and emotion is stilted, I compare this to some works that would come later and there seems to be stilted wish to contain oneself. The use of “friend” comes off like The InBetweenters and there is an ache in the age of the protagonist and the little regrets of not saying enough. The loss is met with a sense of time running out. It is odd it parallels some of the ideas I have been thinking about as I hit my third or fourth hundred mid-life crisis. Or it could be how I am reflecting on these things.

Some gems in this work –

” ‘You do not know how much they mean to me, my friends,
And how, rare and strange it is, to find
In a life composed so much, so much of odds and ends,
(For indeed I do not love it…you knew? you are not blind!
How keen you are!)
To find a friend who has these qualities,
Who has, and gives
Those qualities upon which friendship lives.
How much it means that I say this to you —
Without these friendships–life, what cauchemar!’ “

” ‘… But what have I, but what have I, my friend,
To give you, what can you receive from me?
Only the friendship and sympathy
Of one about to reach her journey’s end.

I shall sit here serving tea to friends…’ “

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