Thursday, February 10, 2011

T.S. Eliot -- plagiarist!

Well, he did say that good poets borrow, great poets steal.

Via DeLong, Jim Macdonald's research has uncovered the text of "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" ... by Rudyard Kipling.
You can talk o' coffee spoons
When you're sittin' in your rooms
Or wanderin' dark streets wi' bad intent
But when comin' down the stairs
You 'ad better all bewares
O' our Michelangel-wallah, Alfred 'Frock!
The arguments 'e made
Very seldom would dissuade
The colonel from decidin' what was what,
But the way 'e tied 'is tie
Made the lads shout "Harry By!"
When 'e brought the mermaids to the sentry 'ut.

An' it's 'Frock, 'Frock, 'Frock!
Why you bugger, what's that 'idden in your smock?
You go risposta fosse
Wi' your senza piu scosse!
Why's a peach stuck in your pocket, Alfred 'Frock?

The uniform 'e wore
Was 'is trousers rolled before
An' 'is hair combed down a little bit behind.
When the fog was blowin' yellow
You'd go lookin' for the fellow
An' some novels an' some teacups you would find.
We was standin' in the hall
When Prince 'Amlet came to call
An' a lord was what we needed an' right quick
So we started in to shout,
"Is there any lord about?"
When up an' came a-trottin' Alfred 'Frock

An' it's 'Frock! 'Frock! 'Frock!
Would you leave off watchin' that thrice-blessed clock?
If you don't tornass' al mondo
You can just di questo fondo
You bleedin' literary Alfred 'Frock!

'E was tellin' 'is one joke,
'Bout a showgirl an' a bloke,
When the prince 'e keeled over wi' ennui
In the midst o' some digression
'Bout the claws an' their procession
That didn't make a lick o' sense to me.
So 'e took a slice o' toast,
An' a piece o' a cold roast,
Then 'e looked for just a spot o' marmalade.
Wi' a smile a little bent
'E said, "That's not what I meant,"
An' that is 'ow 'e ended 'is tirade.

An' it's 'Frock! 'Frock! 'Frock!
You're listenin' to a string quartet by Bach!
Wi' your stream o' conscious' blather
An' an angsty long palaver
You're an influential poet, Alfred 'Frock!
Clearly, the entire history of modernism has now to be rewritten.

No comments:

Post a Comment