La Figlia Chen Piange

Topics: Poetry, T. S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock Pages: 4 (1301 words) Published: February 7, 2013
La Figlia Che Piange
"La Figlia Che Piange" (“young girl weeping”) is the final poem in T.S. Eliot’s Prufrock and Other Observations (1917). This short (24-line) poem describes a lovers' parting, but its speaker plays a curious dual role. He not only describes his lover and the feelings aroused by remembering her, but also directs her-- as he would an actress in a film, to borrow an analogy from Denis Donoghue:[1] the mood of the first stanza is not indicative but imperative, and the first five lines all begin with strong commands: Stand; Lean; Weave; Clasp; Fling. The man who gives these instructions is portrayed as one part embittered lover, one part fastidious aesthete:

Stand on the highest pavement of the stair—
Lean on a garden urn—
Weave, weave the sunlight in your hair—
Clasp your flowers to you with a pained surprise—
Fling them to the ground and turn
With a fugitive resentment in your eyes:
But weave, weave the sunlight in your hair. (1-7)

The speaker appears to have initiated the break with his lover (hence her "resentment"), and yet also to be dubious about the depth of her pain at their parting (hence the irritated qualification "fugitive"), but all of this emotional content is subordinated, in the first stanza, to the goal of creating an aestheticized impression. This song-like stanza is itself, at least superficially, the most aesthetically pleasing in the poem. Its metrical variation is less wild than that of the other two: it is divisible into two three-line sections in which a three-foot line is embraced by two longer lines (approximately 5-3-4; 5-3-5; 4). The rhyme scheme of the first six lines (ABA CBC) matches this embraced structure, while the ballad-like refrain in the last line-- which has already appeared in line three, and which disappears for the rest of the poem-- links the stanza together by rhyming with the first end-word ("stair"). And the reader is prepared for this refrain by the quick, skipping meter in the last four...
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