Hysteria

Original Text: 
T. S. Eliot, Prufrock and Other Observations (London: The Egoist, 1917): 37. E546 P784 1917 Fisher Rare Book Library. Donald Gallup, T. S. Eliot: A Bibliography (London: Faber and Faber, 1969): A1, C28.
2in her laughter and being part of it, until her
3teeth were only accidental stars with a talent
4for squad-drill. I was drawn in by short gasps,
5inhaled at each momentary recovery, lost finally
6in the dark caverns of her throat, bruised by
7the ripple of unseen muscles. An elderly waiter
8with trembling hands was hurriedly spreading
9a pink and white checked cloth over the rusty
10green iron table, saying: "If the lady and
11gentleman wish to take their tea in the garden,
12if the lady and gentleman wish to take their
13tea in the garden ..." I decided that if the
14shaking of her breasts could be stopped, some of
15the fragments of the afternoon might be collected,
16and I concentrated my attention with careful
17subtlety to this end.

Notes

1] This lineation represents the original, justified text. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
1915
Publication Notes: 
Published in Catholic Anthology 1914-1915 (Nov. 1915)
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 1998.
Form: 
Special Copyright: 

© T.S. Eliot and Faber and Faber Ltd 1974