A small study in the poetry of two passionate poets – one quietly desperate, the other stridently disgusted – on feeling socially isolated at parties. Eliot, young and English, Tsvetaeva, young and Russian.
From Eliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock written in 1910:
… And I have known the arms already, known them all—
Arms that are braceleted and white and bare
(But in the lamplight, downed with light brown hair!)
Is it perfume from a dress
That makes me so digress?
Arms that lie along a table, or wrap about a shawl.
And should I then presume?
And how should I begin?
From Marina Tsevtaeva’s Poem of the End, written in 1924: