This is my favorite poem in the whole world.
Well, that's ridiculous, of course, because I can pick out a favorite poem about just as well as I can pick out a favorite book- that is, not well at all. But sometimes people ask you what your favorite book is, and sometimes it's easier not to go on about how you can't have a favorite, because picking one- or two, or three, or whatever- means not acknowledging all the others that you've read that affected how you read the one (two, three, etc.) you picked, and because there are desert island books and there are books that were there for you in your time of need and vulnerability and there are formative books and there are books that will always make you believe in things and there are books that are just plain brilliant. For official purposes, my formative books are Madeleine L'Engles and the brilliant book is Captain Corelli's Mandolin and the ones that make me believe are Discworld and Tolkien, and my favorite book is The Count of Monte Cristo.
And this is my desert island poem and the poem I wish I'd written and the poem I can sink into any time and the poem I've quoted from on my phone's start-up message and on my e-mail footers since I was fourteen, so I guess it's fair to say that if I had a favorite poem, it would be this one, so I'd like to close my poetry month posting with it. You can all me a cliche now. Thank you for reading along, guys. :D
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherized upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question. . . 10
Oh, do not ask, "What is it?"
Let us go and make our visit.
( In the room the women come and go/Talking of Michelangelo. )