Saturday, 22 October 2016

According to the English Dictionary from, "Prelude is an introductory or preliminary performance or event; a preface." In that wise, the title of the poem suggests the poet's motivation towards creating the popular poem "Preludes".

No wonder the poet concluded the poem metaphorically by comparing the rotational flow of each day to the consistently laborious ancient women: "The worlds revolve like ancient women/ Gathering fuel in vacant lots". Still on the title of the poem, the poet pluralised the title to show how continuous and consistent the events of days are.

Preludes by T. S. Eliot is a poem that reflects on the monotonously programmed phases of earthly day-by-day; using the dusk to dawn issues (as the dusk introduces humans to the end of a day so does the dawn introduces humans to the beginning of a new day then in such manner the earthly wheel of time moves on). The poem is divided into four (4) parts: part 1 about dusk for instance line 1-4 "The winter evening settles down/ With smell of steaks in passageways/ Six o’clock/ The burnt-out ends of smoky days". Part 2 about dawn for instance line 14-16 "The morning comes to consciousness/ Of faint stale smells of beer/ From the sawdust-trampled street". Part 3 about nighttime for instance line 24-26 "You tossed a blanket from the bed/ You lay upon your back, and waited/ You dozed, and watched the night revealing". Part for 4 about daytime for instance the rest of the lines "His soul stretched tight across the skies/ That fade behind a city block/ Or trampled by insistent feet/ At four and five and six o’clock/ And short square fingers stuffing pipes/ And evening newspapers, and eyes/ Assured of certain certainties/ The conscience of a blackened street/ Impatient to assume the world/ I am moved by fancies that are curled/ Around these images, and cling/ The notion of some infinitely gentle/ Infinitely suffering thing/ Wipe your hand across your mouth, and laugh/ The worlds revolve like ancient women/ Gathering fuel in vacant lots ".

Judging from the division of the poem, the part one is an introduction to part three while part two is an introduction to part four; even the description in part three is a mere introduction to nighttime.

The poem is a free verse with a total of fifty three lines. Its major setting is urban and winter season. Each part has its own significance and the parts_ in one way or the other, relates with other parts of the poem.

Imagery is very paramount in the poem with the use of words like "smell of steaks in passageways" "broken blinds and chimney-pots" "Sitting along the bed’s edge". We can see simile in line fifty two and "broken blinds" is an example of alliteration in the poem. "its muddy feet that press" is a personification then hyperbole "a thousand furnished rooms" then metonymy in fifty two where earth is referred to as worlds while "insistent feet" is a synecdoche.

"Or clasped the yellow soles of feet/ In the palms of both soiled hands." The lines in quote paints an image of someone sitting in a meditative position on a bed.

"With the other masquerades" means with other faces that are clearly seen due to blur vision of the winter dawn.
The themes that "Preludes" by T. S. Eliot has are (i) the continuous movement of time (ii) the common nature of dusk, dawn, day, night; and their effects on humans (iii) the relentless impacts of nature on earth (iv) similarity in time; the dusk and dawn are described alike both in texture and in timing "six o'clock" (v) attributes of the winter season.

T. S. Eliot was a British poet though born in America by American citizens. He lived from 26-09-1888 to 04-01-1965 his full name is Thomas Stearns Eliot OM

Samuel C. Enunwa aka samueldpoetry
(the Leo with wings flying)


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