And indeed there will be time For the yellow smoke that slides along the street, Rubbing its back upon the window panes; There will be time, there will be time To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet There will be time to murder and create, And time for all the works and days of hands That lift and drop a question on your plate; Time for you and time for me, And time yet for a hundred indecisions, And for a hundred visions and revisions, Before the taking of a toast and tea.
In “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” J. Alfred Prufrock approaches an encounter with a room full of women having tea. Prufrock hesitates at the door to look back at the street and then slowly climbs the stairs, his shyness, self-doubt, and dread increasing as he climbs. “Time for you and time for me” implies that he expects to meet one person in particular. Prufrock uses time to tamp down his fears and bolster his courage. Eliot uses time to reveal the extent of Prufrock’s dysfunction. Prufrock moves in slow motion while his mind changes constantly. The effect makes readers acutely aware of Prufrock’s consciousness.
(Come in under the shadow of this red rock), And I will show you something different from either Your shadow at morning striding behind you Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you; I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
In “The Burial of the Dead,” the first part of
Keeping time, Keeping the rhythm in their dancing As in their living in the living seasons The time of the seasons and the constellations The time of milking and the time of harvest The time of the coupling of man and woman And that of beasts. Feet rising and falling. Eating and drinking. Dung and death.
Eliot named “East Coker,” the second of the