My complete 24-page comic-book adaptation of the poem “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by T.S. Eliot (Click on images to enlarge).
To those who have asked me where they can find this in print: The comic only exists online for the time being, but I am currently in the process of looking for a publisher for it.
I found your website by chance and your work is awesome. This is one of my favourite poems and you gave it some life – thank you for doing it, and thank you for sharing.
I am an Italian literature teacher and I see that you have done some amazing work also on other poets, I may show them in class when we’ll study Ungaretti and Quasimodo 🙂
Grazie! Hope your class enjoys them!
What would it take to get a copy of this in print?
I may self-publish a zine of the whole thing in preparation for my appearance at the Toronto Comics Art Festival in May. Stay tuned! 🙂
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Let me say a huge thank you for this. I love the poem and this is so much better than the images I used to create in my mind before I read your superb version! The ending is pure genius as it is as surprising and open to interpretations as the poem. I can’t wait to teach Prufrock next year! And I think the Italian poems are amazing too.
Thank you, Professor! That’s really nice to know.
I was glad to see your reply, and I hope you’ll apreciate my comment even if unfortunately I’m not a Professor (ah ah)… I’m an Italian high school teacher, that’s how we use the title over here! Thanks again for your work.
Oh, I did a year of liceo in Italy and it was far more rigorous than many a university class! Dove insegna?
Davvero? Interessante! Beh ora mi spiego la connessione con le poesie italiane allora! Insegno in un liceo linguistico di Genova, quindi gli ultimi tre anni facciamo anche (storia della) letteratura, ma non con tutte le quinte riesco a fare Eliot. Purtroppo spesso devo sacrificare i miei autori preferiti (anche Yeats, Poe, Donne, Blake, Keats, Bronte, …) perché non c’è davvero il tempo di fare tutto… si ricorderà la quantità di tempo che se ne va in interrogazioni qui da noi!
Eh già, è vero che le interrogazioni non sono ottimali per l’uso efficiente del tempo. In più mi davano tanta ansia! Nonostante ciò però credo che abbia letto più letteratura in quell’anno di seconda liceo che negli altri quattro alla high school!
I nostri studenti al lingustico fanno tanta letteratura italiana, abbastanza letteratura inglese (io inizio addirittura con Beowulf, ballate medievali e Chaucer… poveri ragazzi!) e altre due a seconda delle altre lingue straniere che studiano… magari cinese e spagnola! Alla fine molti la odiano, ma vanno all’unversità con un baglaglio culturale decente e prima o poi l’avversione passerà, mentre quello che hanno letto avrà lasciato qualche semino – si spera. Io stessa ho frequentato questa scuola quasi 30 anni fa, con risultati non entusiamanti, e i primi esami alla facoltà di lingue mi sono sembrati una banalità grazie al gran lavoro fatto al liceo. Ancora ricordo, e con grande nostalgia, quando leggevo per la prima volta Les Fleurs du Mal, Coleridge, Montale, Sartre. Rileggerli ora non è più lo stesso. Giusto così.
Io lo trovo un gran peccato che le letture -e aggiungerei la musica- non riescono poi ad emozionarci allo stesso modo che all’adolescenza e nella ventina. Per fortuna però non ci abbandonano mai del tutto!
Oggi possiamo trovare nuovi significati, pensieri ed emozioni per quello che ha contribuito a formarci.
Se posso cambiare discorso, abbiamo speranza di vederla in Italia in futuro? Mi piacerebbe molto invitarla se passasse qui vicino…
Ah, sarebbe bello! In effetti spero di venire in Italia quest’estate. Per favore mi contatti al mio indirizzo email, firstname.lastname@example.org. Magari vediamo di organizzare qualcosa!
Davvero? Mi fa paicere saperlo, in effetti molti dei nostri ragazzi sono proprio in gamba. Beh, ora mi spiego la presennza di tante poesie italiane! Insegno a Genova, in un liceo linguistico, quindi negli ultimi tre anni facciamo storia della letteratura. Purtroppo però non con tutte le mie quinte riesco a fare Eliot, spesso devo sacrificare i miei autori preferiti (anche Yeats, Poe, Blake, Keats, Bronte, Donne, …) perché non c’è tempo per tutto, si ricorderà quanto tempo se ne va in interrogazioni qui da noi!
chiedo scusa, ho fatto un pasticcio
This is beautiful!!!
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I remember reading this unfinished some time ago. I returned to it just to see whether it is finished, and I am planning to use this in my class! Hope my students will like it, and I will let it know how much!
Great! Looking forward to hearing how it goes!
Julian Peters Comics: I’ve always loved this poem, and this is a wonderful treatment of it! May I share it with my students?
Thanks! And but of course! 🙂
I love it and am so impressed how well Eliot’s daringly foolish images, at times verging on goofy, work, when rendered graphic in this way. The voice, so beguiling and bracing, purrs and chimes and whispers and whines and sings through your images…
Julian, thank you for this wonder. I keep returning to it, to savour your art combined here so beautifully with Eliot’s.
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Thank you Alan! I couldn’t ask for a more satisfying complimentary gesture than a return reading!
11/10 needs more cowbell
I LIKE it
Brilliant – simply brilliant.
This is fantastic. Is it by any chance available in print?
Sorry not to get back to you sooner. For information on prints, please contact me at email@example.com
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My favorite English professor, Dr. Frank “Doc” Carothers, at Loyola Marymount U., could recite Profrock from memory, along with many others. He would have loved this.
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I didn’t think it would be possible for me to love my favourite poem even more. Well, now I know it is.
Thanks Antonella! That’s my mother’s name, as it happens
I think hew would approve, not that he would need to approve. It is what it is.
I’ve often wondered!
This is wonderful.
So, so glad I found this.
Ben contento che ti piaccia! 🙂
Superb….. I can now better realize the poem
Thanks Partha! That’s nice to know.
I am glad that I finally came across this. This truly is worth all the praise. Keep up the good work.
Thanks very much!
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This is so wonderful. I always share this with my literature students after I’ve asked them to read it. It seems to really enhance their understanding, and you have a fabulous style.
Thanks Elisa! That’s a lovely name, by the way.
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There are no words to describe how much I love this!
Thank you MJ!
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A rare and beautiful contribution to the century’s greatest poem. Thank you, Julian.
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I am so exited to purchase this once it is published! Is there an email list I could subscribe to?
If you follow the blog you should receive notifications on any developments.
This is such a brilliant illustration! The graphic novel helps the poem come alive and assume a three dimensional quality. As a future English educator, I’m very excited to have access to this resource! I encourage you to keep producing illustrations for poetry; it’s something that seems very unavailable for many people unfortunately, but your rendition greatly aids in comprehension. I can’t express how much I enjoyed this. I never leave comments on anything, but I had to for this! Thank you so much….the world of British poetry is indebted to you! I would absolutely invest in your admirable talent if these were to be published!
Thank you so much, Sarah! Your comments are music to my ears. So many educators have written to me to tell me how useful they have found my comics as a teaching tool -hopefuly a publisher will also wake up to this potential one of these days!
Thank you for an easy illustration of the poem. It is a great help for the students interested in exploring new genres. Hope your comic come out soon in published forms.
Thank you for an easy understanding of the poem.
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This is absolutely fantastic! Prufrock has always been one of my favourites ever since my Dad introduced Eliot to me.
His birthday is coming up and I’d love to be able to give him a copy of this or a larger print of one of the panels. is that something we could discuss? I’d be quite happy to pay for it.
Thanks a lot, Will! I’m glad you like it. Regarding the prints, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss things further.
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I really loved your illustrations of Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. Keep it up!
Is possible for you to convert my Enrique Iglesias fan fiction ‘Unforgettable’ into a comic book? I would gladly share the illustration rights with you. Do let me know.
Meanwhile, you can locate my fan fic here: http://bit.ly/1p9GMbL
Thank you Sid! I’m already quite busy with another graphic novel project, but have you thought of turning your Enrique Iglesias story into a comic yourself, using photographs? It could be something like those European “fotonovelas.”
This is rad! Showing it to my poetry class tomorrow!
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This is very good! You know your Eliot! Now you should attempt illustrating “The Waste Land”! ☺ (And, from there, “The Hollow Men”, “The Four Quartets”, etc. I can already almost foresee you doing another good job with those, too.)
Thanks! I would definitely love to illustrate “The Hollow Men” and “The Wasteland” some day. It’s a pity “The Wasteland” is so long, as in some ways I think it’s even more suitable for comics adaptation than “Prufrock.” As For “The Four Quartets,” I’ve actually been illustrating some short extracts from each of them for “The Four Quarters,” an Indian online literary magazine. “East Coker” should be out any day now. And here’s the “Burnt Norton” comic: http://www.tfqm.org/Julian-Peters1.html
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I’ve always found this poem to be profoundly moving, but you’ve brought it to a new depth. Thank you.
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I wish you were able to illustrate every poem! It is such a great resource for teaching poetry especially as the amazing images give the poem a new dimension. You are truly gifted. Please keep drawing…
I’ve only recently used this in class to two groups of 12th graders.
It greatly added to their understanding, especially for the visual learners and weaker students.
I’m not sure I can agree with no visual reference to WWI (cf. “voices dying with a dying fall”) and some of the panels are perhaps a little too literal.
Well done sir on an excellent teaching aid – thank you.
Thanks! Regarding WWI, the poem was begun in 1910 and completed in 1911, 3 years before the outbreak of the war.
I use Eliot often in my poems – the latest has ‘yellow fog’ and others too use eliot allusions. “Prufrock” is perhaps my favourite and this comic depiction is so good.
I have Robert Crumb’s “Book of Genesis” a similar endeavour and this matches that, Well done, Sir , a triumph.
Thank you Richard! “Immature poets imitate, mature poets steal,” as Eliot said. I haven’t read Crumb’s “Book of Genesis” yet, but his adaptations of some of Kafka’s short stories are some of the most successful transpositions of literature into comics I’ve ever seen.
May I use this in the 11th grade English class I teach? It’s really beautifully done.
Thank you Jamie. Of course! Let me know how they respond.
This is really comprehensible. You have made it easy to read and understand.The way you have interpreted it and depicted it, is outstanding. It feels as if the poem is speaking out to me.
Thanks Kay! That’s good to hear.
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I read this poem some 6 years ago, when I was falling in love with a girl and was standing outside her dorm room in college, not knowing how should I tell her that I loved her. A friend suggested this poem to me, then.
Seeing it in illustrations today reminded me of that time. And I think you aptly portrayed the J. Alfred Prufrock hidden inside all of us. I am just awestruck by the sheer brilliance of your work.
Heartiest congratulations and all the best. Hope this gets published soon for the world to see. Till then, I will be one of your proponents on the digital media.
Thanks so much Prateek! I hope the poem was helpful to you back then, but that you nonetheless decided go with a better pick-up line than “I have gone at dusk through narrow streets and watched the smoke that rises from the pipes of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows“ 🙂
This is AWESOME! I have been teaching this poem for 7 years or so now, and I really struggle. I’ve tried listening to Eliot read it, break it down section by section, discussion, and even have students illustrate sections of it, but this is perfection! May I use it in my classroom? Maybe your creative, appropriate, and right-on illustrations will be just what they need to “get it.” Thank you!
Thank you Mrs. Walsh! Of course I`m always very happy when my poetry comics are used in the classroom. I hope your students like them!
Thank you! I’ll let you know how it goes! We’ll get to Modernism in a month or so 🙂
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Julian, you are very talented–definitely complete your masterpiece.
Well, I’ve completed this comic -but it’s true that my masterpiece is still to come!
This is brilliant! Congratulations! I hope it gets published.
Just a thought – I might have added the picture of the scuttling crab in one of the last frames, when he starts talking about the sea and drowning.
Thanks! It’s true that bringing back the crab could have been an interesting touch! but there might also have been the risk overcharging the images with too many elements, or of underlining something too insistently… I guess it’s always a bit of a balancing act.
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Comic of love songs is definitely a unique and great job done by you. My congratulations. Hope you get a publisher soon.
Thank you Ramneek.
This is honestly one of my favourite things ever. Prufrock is one of my all time favourite poems and you give it so much life. I especially love the little the little silent panels you have added in, they really capture the mood.
I don’t even know how to say how much I love this. I so want this to be published in print form!
Thanks! Me too!
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Thank you very much
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such beautiful work! Thank you so much for sharing!
I love this poem. Its words make me happy. I have re-read it every year since the first time I read it. With your illustrations, I felt I read it again for the first time. Thank you.
Thank you, David. That’s nice to know.
Interesting. Is it downloadable?
I have no objection to you downloading the pages, although I think you’d have to do each one individually.
This was amazing! As for a publisher, I’d recommend Black Bedsheet Publishing, owned by Nicholas Grabowski, located in California.
Thanks Kareema! And thanks for the tip!
T.S. Eliot is my favorite poet and this is absolutely perfect. Thank you for sharing this with the world!
That was well done. Thank you.
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You are awesome! Thank you! I confess that I haven’t read that poem since high school.
I loved revisiting Eliot’s poem in your rendition — and it was the perfect way to introduce the work to my 11-year-old manga/graphic novel reader. Thank you!
Thanks Jill! In that case maybe your 11-year-old would also be interested in my manga version of Yeats’s “when You Are Old”
3 Pointer Julian….you absolutely nailed it! Bravo.
Wow……perhaps the poem I have read and re-read more than any other. Yet you have brilliantly breathed an energy and vibrancy into it that makes it all new to me again. Thank you Julian!
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Where can I buy a print copy of this? It’s absolutely marvelous.
Not in print for the moment, but I’m on the lookout for a publisher!
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*standing ovation* What a lovely, nuanced interpretation that both honors the tradition and transforms Prufrock’s plight anew. I can’t wait to share it with my students. (Oh, how I would love to pair it with subtle sound effects of city streets, muted conversations in parlors, and ocean waves!) I love the paired door panels (you know you’re cheering him to disturb the universe!).
Even 20 minutes after reading it, I’m still turning over in my head the end “and we drown”. It was a long day at work so it took me longer than it should to figure out to tilt my head. By shifting perspective so that it looks like he is moving down, that made me think he was entering the underworld/hell and an echo to the character from Dante’s Inferno in the epigraph. Either I’m really tired and this is really obvious, or I’m really tired and I’m very much off the mark.
How did you come to the decision to shift that last frame so dramatically?
Thank you so much Larissa! A few people have been asking me about that last panel. I think it left some people a bit perplexed, but your interpretation is bang on! Not only did I want to suggest Prufrock’s feeling that he is falling or drowning into this soiree, the prospect of which has already caused him such anxiety, but I also wanted to subtly suggest a descent into a kind of personal Hell, and thus close the circle by reconnecting with the opening epigraph and “the abyss”. But I didn’t necessarily think people would read it that way on a conscious level, so I’m impressed you picked up on it.
As for how I decided to shift the final frame, I was playing around with different perspectives for the last panel that would suggest the townhouse entrance hall as a yawning pit, and nothing seemed satisfactory. Then it suddenly occurred to me at some point to try tilting a panel from one of the first pages, and add Prufrock’s leg sticking out like that of the drowning Icarus in Bruegel’s painting.
I like the design on the railings shaped like fish. Nice touch.
That’s an AMAZING observation and now I really, really wish I had made the railings look a bit like fish on purpose!! I guess I can say it was my creative unconscious directing me to do so.
Prufrock is forever connected in my mind to that Buegel painting because the painting was on the cover of a literary anthology my Dad used to teach from. Prufrock was one of his favorite poems. Very strange to see them paired here again.
There’s also that lovely W. H. Auden poem referencing that painting, “Musée des Beaux Arts”
About suffering they were never wrong. 🙂
Ahh! That leg of Icarus: What a great connection! Bravo!
Ahh! The Icarus leg–brilliant!
This poem is forever linked in my brain to Breugel’s Icarus because my Dad used to teach it from a literary anthology with that painting on the cover. Any chance that was your connection too?
I don’t have a conscious memory of seeing that cover, but it’s possible. But the use of the Bruegel Icarus was in itself half-unconscious, it’s just one of those images of drowning that has always stuck in my mind and that I’m liable to refer back to. I wasn’t actually looking at the painting when I did the drawing, and in fact the legs in the two images aren’t at all at the same angle.
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Julian, you are amazing and your work here is truly incredible. I so enjoyed re-reading the poem, so much more so within your artwork. You have captured the intent and majesty of Eliot’s superb poem and I think, when this is published in book form, open the poem to many more thousands of readers.
Thank you so much for the experience.
Than you, Linda. I hope you’re right!
I have read “Prufrock” hundreds of times, taught it dozens of times, and almost thought that nothing could teach me more about the poem. But that is just what your series of drawings did–in addition to being a splendid work of art in its own right.
Thank you Carl! That’s really the best compliment I could ask for.
This is such a dream come true.
Julian, when I heard about this today, I was prejudicially against the idea of anyone illustrating one of my all-time favourite poems. But I came, I saw, and I am captivated. You have created a work of original art which adds greatly to the power of Eliot’s poem. Well done! I do hope you find a publisher to produce this beautiful work handsomely. Thank you for making it available here.
So happy I was able to sway you!
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Given your preferences, you might like this translation of Baudelaire’s “The Pipe” from Fleurs du Mal:
An author’s favourite pipe am I,
My Kaffir woman’s countenance
Tells the beholder at a glance
My master smokes incessantly.
If he is mournful or in pain
I smoke as does the ploughman’s cot
When the good wife prepares the pot
Before her spouse comes home again.
I bind his soul and rock her well
In the blue twisting skein which slips
And rises from my fiery lips,
And weave a very potent spell
Which soothes his heart in its distress
And heals his spirit’s weariness.
— Jack Collings Squire, Poems and Baudelaire Flowers (London: The New Age Press, Ltd, 1909)
Very nice! I admire translations that maintain the original rhyme scheme.
When one reads anything that is written, then the images that are inferred by the words appear in one’s mind’s eye. When someone attempts to create an actual image of the words, disappointment is mainly the case but here, one is not disappointed in the least.
Justice has been done to the imaginations of those words in bringing them into reality.
Thoroughly enjoyable, to say the least.
Thanks! I’m very glad when people tell me the images match their own vision of the words.
I have been waiting for ages to see this completed and it does not disappoint. I need this in book form.
I assume you are researching publishers? To me, this screams BOA Editions or Open Letter Press, both in Rochester, NY.
Thank you Amanda, and thanks for the tips! I’ll look into them.
Very fine, Julian. I just shared it with the comics’ artists club (which sprang out of my 2009 Comics class) at Saginaw Valley State University. Of course, the geezer grumbled Back in the day college assigned us Eliot WITHOUT comics, snort, kaff kaff… 😉
Thank you, Mike. I have a self-serving theory that, given Eliot’s openness to integrating fragments of contemporary popular diction into his poetry, and his predilection for combining “high” and “low” cultural reference points, he would have been totally into poetry comics if he were alive today.
Not self-serving at all! Totally agree. Just look at his notes etc in The Wasteland!
A perfect masterpiece.
You hold your breath with each frame.
And marvel at each expression.
Moves you as much as the poem.
Three cheers !!!
Thanks! I definitely spent more time on the expressions than anything else, so I’m glad they work for you.
Congratulations for your great work! Generally speaking I am no fan of poetry or novels turn into comics, but I must admit that you did an excellent job, totally respecting T.S. Eliot’s poem! I particularly like Eliot and The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, and your rendition into comics is really beautiful. Bravo!
Grazie Marco! It’s true that combining poetry and comics can be a really risky enterprise. I’m glad this one works for you.
Really useful. Thanks.
Glad you like it!
Perfection…will return to this again and again…just beautiful!
Thanks so much!
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This thrilled me beyond words, Julian. Having lived with this poem and images for so long, do you still love it, or are you tired of it? I hope you know that my eyes saw it for the first time and fell in love.
Thank you, Andria! Although I’m relieved to be done with illustrating it, I can happily report that I still love the poem as much as ever, even more than when I first embarked on this project, in fact. The beauty of Eliot’s words seems to be inexhaustible.
This is absolutely brilliant.
I particularly love the timing and the moment when the ladies of the parlor stop and change expressions. Perfect.
And the reveal of the stage, the introduction of Prufrock as Hamlet, and then him begining to speak. Just lovely and so well thought out. Bravo.
Thank you, Josh! I guess maybe one advantage of working ridiculously slowly is that you have a lot of time to think things out.
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Being a lifelong fan of comics & poetry, I was intrigued at the mentioning of your work in Open Culture. I remember reading that title somewhere, & I’m familiar with his cats, but I didn’t know the poem, so I had Anthony Hopkins read it for me. The first thing that made an image in my head was the yellow smoke falling asleep around the house. Then I started reading your comic & the smoke was just as I had imagined it. I have now read it through a couple of times & it gets better every time. I understand the poem much better now. Thank you so much for this. Hope to see much more from your creative pen.
Thanks! I’m glad my drawings fit with the imagery Anthoy Hopkins helped conjure in your head.
Really fantastic. I’ve had a vision of those sea girls on the waves in my mind since I was 20 years old, and you nailed it. Bravo.
Thanks, that’s really nice to know! I also felt like I had a picture of those seagirls in my mind for ages, but when I got down to it it took me quite a while to figure out how to depict the mermaid simultaneously riding and combing the wave, and in a suitably graceful manner.
Absolutely splendid. Congratulations on an amazing accomplishment.
Thank you Kate!
This is truly inspired. I feel as though you’ve given people a gift through your artful interpretation of (to my mind) the greatest poem of the 20th century. Thank you so much.
I’ve been involving myself with this poem for so long now that it’s hard to view it objectively, but instinctively I would say that I have to agree. I loved it from the moment I first encountered it, and my appreciation has only continued to grow ever since.
This is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen… thank you so much.
Thank you, doyle333! What better compliment could I ask for?
Now that you’ve brought this remarkable labour of love to its conclusion, the fruits of it are nothing short of masterful. The parts were great, but the sum of them is far greater. Hats off and jubilant applause, brother!
Grazie, caro fratello!
Such a good job!
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A tremendous and vivid re-imagining of the poem! Thanks to you from me and my students!
Thanks Jeoff! It’s nice to know you’ve found it useful with your students.
Bravo. This is really a wonderful response to the poem. I’m teaching Prufrock tonight and will share this with my students. I’ve been following its progress and was delighted to discover today that you have completed your work. There are a great many panels that I admire, but perhaps my favorite is the one accompanying “Do I dare disturb the universe?”, which you then return to on the very last page. This evening I will tell my students that if they can understand the paired “door knocker” panels on the final page, they will have a great start on understanding Eliot’s poem.
Thanks so much for this effort.
Thank you Rob! I had noticed that the original door knocker image was among the more popular online, which is partly why I decided to return to it in the end. Give the fans what they want, that’s my motto! I hope your students enjoy it.
The last panel is a stroke of genius. I had to stare at it for a few minutes and get a closer look to realize what you had done. It might be a visual gimmick but it does make you pause for a moment to appreciate the message of the poem.
Well thanks Dave! It wasn’t easy trying to figure out how to end this thing.
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I have used your comics with my high school students, and I thank you for your imaginative and insightful representation of classic poems. Keep them coming!
That’s good to know! I hope they liked it.
Absolutely brilliant. Thank you
Truly outstanding illustration, and I agree with everyone else’s comments and more, you helped me to understand the poem better. Thank you.
This is really awesome! It’s my favourite poem and you painted it just the way i had it in mind too. I’m really looking forward to the next pages. You should have it printed somewhere as well, it’s a great piece of work and as you can see you have loads of fans already 🙂
Thanks very much! I’m glad to hear it looks the way you had imagined the poem in your head.
Thank you, this is my favorite poem. Meraviglioso.
Grazie! Look for new Prufrock pages on this site in about a week or so.
really good but we missed the prince hamlet and the drowning people
Coming very soon! Check back in about 2 weeks!
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C’est magnifique! Je viens de voir vos dessins et je me suis permis d’en montrer un sur mon blog. Je parle aujourd’hui de l’ ouvrage d’un ami anglais que je viens de traduire en français: “les tribulations de J. Alfred Prufrock au pays des moas géants”, aux éditions de l’Harmattan. par Graham Sage. J’ai fait un lien sur votre propre blog pour que les lecteurs découvrent votre travail remarquable.
Bien amicalement. (excusez-moi pour le commentaire en français).
Merci beaucoup Chantal! Ce livre de Grahma Sage m’intéresse beaucoup, aussi parce que j’ai récemment passé 7 semaines au “pays du long nuage blanc”. Je vais essayer de le lire un de ces jours.
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I loved your comic adaptation of Eliot’s poem. It is absolutely brilliant. My favourite panel is the one which illustrates the line “Do I dare disturb the universe?”. I teach undergraduate students of literature at the University of Delhi, India. We are just starting Eliot. I will be using your illustrations in class.
As a professor of literature, a reader of Eliot and a fellow comics artist, I wanted to say thank you for taking on this project. Hope to see the remaining illustrations soon.
Thanks Payal! The last drawings are done; all that’s left for me to do is ink them. In fact the imagery from the “Do I dare disturb the universe” panel will reappear in this final section. I’d be curious to see your comics, particularly if they reflect your literary expertise.
Absolutely loved it. Congratulations for this stunning work. I’ll be delighted to buy a copy whenever you publish it. And if there’s no publisher, please do consider self publishing – for the sake of all of us readers.
Wonderful treatment of a favourite poem. Beautifully evocative of when it was written but also dreamlike timeless. Have you managed to publish it yet?
Thank you, Mickplay! No, no publisher yet, but if the images do indeed have a certain timelessness, as you say, I suppose there’s still time.
You are very welcome – love your work. Have you had a chance to see my comment on The Given Note?
Wonderful – captures both the darkness and wry humor of Eliot’s poem. Thank you and kudos!
Very glad you like it! I hope to get started on the final section in a couple of weeks.
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Absolutely fabulous! Enhances the whole experience of reading the poem. Very well done, indeed!
I’m glad you like it, Sandhra! New pages coming soon.
I love your version of Prufrock. I’ve been sharing it with high school students for two years now, and I love the new panels! My favorite thing is how well you present the character of Prufrock. The combination of comedy and pathos in the pause before “I should have been a pair of ragged claws” is perfect, and shows a nuanced reading of the poem. Your illustrations really bring out the interplay of observing and being observed that are at the center of P’s paralysis. His sense of exclusion, his fear, his petty worries, all this is here. A tremendous piece of work.
Thank you, Paul! I’m very grateful when someone provides such specific feedbac on my work. Makes me feel repayed for all the thought and obsessing I put into making it!
Wow. Simply superb. I am looking forward to the passage about Hamlet “No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be.” Look forward to purchasing the completed work. Glad you chose this poem as your current piece. Indebted.
Thanks, Ashok! I am hoping to get started on the last sections very soon!
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It works so well in graphic novel format! A gripping and slightly eerie story.
Thanks for the gripping and eerie! Just the kinds of reactions I’m hoping for!
This is probably one of the most beautiful illustrations I have ever seen. You are breathtakingly talented. Cannot wait “’til human voices wake us, and we drown.”
Thank you, Anonymous, your kind words are a big encouragement! I have been thinking about how to illustrate those last lines for ages now. I too look forward to the day when I pen the final panels, hopefully later this summer!
I’ve been tracking your Prufrock illustrations for a long time now. I hope you don’t mind, but I used a couple of your comics on post on my blog, with click-through links back to your blog of course. You can visit the post here: http://www.theperennialstudent.com/blog/2015/4/20/ts-eliot-comic-book-poetry, and if you’d like me to take it down, just let me know! Can’t wait till the full poem is published!
Thanks for the plug! I’m very glad you like my adaptation!
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this has blown me away. i studied this work as part of my undergraduate degree in english lit. many years ago. and it suddenly seems to come alive.
thanks for this. my congratulations.
Thanks Riitu! I’m glad it works for you.
This is brilliant. Don’t think the purists can complain much. It gives a whole new perspective Congratulations!
Also, are you planning to do some of Plath or Cummings? 🙂
Cummings! Yes! Please! How about “may my heart be always open,” or “if i or anybody don’t know where it her his . . .”
Or may be “In the Rain” 🙂
in the rain-
darkness, the sunset
being sheathed i sit and
think of you
In the past I considered illustrating “Daddy” and “anyone lived in a pretty how town”. cummings would be an interesting challenge to illustrate because I feel the shapes of the figures should be a bit ambiguous, like they are in the process of transforming into something else. I think the paintings of Arshile Gorky, in which all the shapes look sort of like something identifiable, but not quite, could be a useful reference. And also Chagall’s kaleidoscopic yet airy compositions. One day, I hope!
That’s a kaleidoscope of images. Rich. Was also thinking: Plath, may be? I am selfish about her. ☺️
Well, as I said, I would like to adapt “Daddy.” I see more of a Robert Crumb style treatment for that one, oddly.
Good luck with that! 🙂
This was so beautiful.. One of my favorite poems and you illustrated it so well!
I’m glad you like it, Olivia! A new page is coming on Monday!
I loved reading this and can’t wait until you’ve finished it. Id love to see your interpretation of some of Norman McCaig’s work.
Thanks Gail! I’m not familiar with McCaig’s work, but I’d be curious to hear what poems by him you think could work well as comics.
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Thanks for sharing your positive work with world ,and making work of poet quite easy to understand.
This is wonderful. It is EXACTLY like what I have always seen in my mind.
Thanks, Stacey! I’m especially pleased when people tell me that. New pages coming in a couple of weeks!
When you are ready to market, if you need blurbs from teachers, please contact me! I’ll be happy to endorse this as a perfect teaching aid! Not to mention, just some very fine drawings!
Thank you, Melissa! I think something like that would be very helpful when the time comes.
This is wonderful! I know everyone else said this already, but I am an English teacher and I just have to say how great it is to have something like this to open my students’ eyes to the meaning of the poem. Please keep up the good work! I know that I and a million other English teachers out there will buy your work!
Thanks April! That’s really good to know. I hope to finish this adaptation in a few months, and then I will try to market it to publishers, at which time I will definitely emphasize the educational angle.
I was going to buy it right now! But niw I see I have to wait a little … Will be happy to promote in Norway!
Please do! Takk! New pages will be out starting Dec. 29.
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Please finish this magnificent piece of work. I would happily buy it.
Thanks for your encouragement. I have begun drawing the next few stanzas, and should be publishing them here soon.
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Hi Julian, I hope you won’t mind that I used a couple of your images on a video I made for a composition a friend of mine did over the poem by Elliot. Of course, I gave credit. I hope we’ll see the rest of the comic soon. If I can buy it from Spain, I’ll surely do. Cheers. Link for the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCFZngr4hc4
Thanks Victor! That’s a really different and oddly haunting interpretation of the poem. And I love the use of my images as filtered through that retro grainy/jumpy footage!
Julian, what about an Indiegogo or kickstarter campaign, donors get copies? Donors get pdf version, paper version, signed paper version for different commission levels etc… Don’t leave us etherized upon the table!
Thanks for the suggestions! I’m going to complete the rest of the comic this fall. If no publishing opportunities emerge by then, I will indeed presume to disturb the universe, and begin a crowdsourcing campaign.
As a high school English text, this would be amazing. I wonder if there is a way to get publishing through an educational company, like Scholastic, who can sell in bulk to schools?
Keep in touch as soon as you have news
Any news on the publisher front?
Nothing very encouraging so far, unfortunately. But I have begun working on Prufrock. I am hoping that posting new pages from that comic will help reignite interest in the project.
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Julian, good evening from Itlay!!I am desperately tring to purchase this work.could you help me?
Buonasera Giuseppe! I’m trying to find a publisher for it. Stay tuned!
Keep me updated!Thank you!!!
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I love the oyster shells as ashtrays. We forget just how tough times were for our ancestors. No going down to the $2 shop. Incidentally I think my love affair with Prufrock began with ” the yellow fog licked its tongue into the corner of the evening.” In London in 1946 as tiny girl I was standing with my Dad waiting to cross the street. It was December and we were on our way to visit my mother and new baby sister in hospital. I remember distinctly saying asking “Daddy where does the fog come from?” I don’t remember his answer, but when I first read the fog line I immediately conjured up my own image as if TSE had written it for me. Because of this I always assumed TSE was writing about London.
An evocative recollection! It could be London, where Eliot was living through much of the period in which “Prufrock” was written. Or it could be St. Louis, where Eliot grew up, and whose fog he himself recalled as the inspiration for that evoked in the poem. Boston, where Eliot was living when he began writing “Prufrock,” seemed like a good, “mid-Atlantic” compromise.
I love this so much! But one little thought: by “sawdust restaurants with oyster shells,” doesn’t Eliot mean the kind of restaurants that have sawdust on the floor and oyster-shell ashtrays *on the tables*?
Thanks! If you look closely, I did try to suggest sawdust on the floor, but I didn’t know about the oyster-shell ashtrays…
Also, I set the comic in Boston, where oysters are a specialty. In the first panel from that page, we see a view of Union Street, home of the famous Union Oyster House.
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When are you planning to finish the rest of the poem? I’ve been eagerly waiting to see the rest!
Soon, I hope! Sorry for the delay!
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I need this. I can’t believe I never thought of this! I’ve got some Prufrock tattooed on my body. Genius. Can I buy it someplace?
Awesome! Which lines? I’m hoping to have it published soon.
Pure genius. You paint the irony, ambiguity, and loneliness that Prufrock embodies with such unnerving ease. Hope to see a lot more from you!
Beautiful. This is how I understand Elliot, the man.
Amazing, thank you!!!!
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This is amazing! I want MORE!
I really like poetry and enjoy writing it from time to time, but I don’t usually read “old poetry” unless it’s assigned to me for homework and even then I find it hard to understand mostly because I don’t get into it. But I find what you’ve done with “The Love Song…” poem and the other ones you’ve done to be very refreshing and attention grabbing. Maybe it’s due to the fact that reading comics is awesome; but anyways your work is outstanding and I hope you finish this one soon.
P.s. I think poem comics will make younger generations enjoy poetry. Keep up the good work!
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Wonderful. Love it.
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Wow! I simply love this too, like everybody else. Have you ever seen the Mad Magazine version of The Raven? Pretty good too, though in an entirely different vein.
Can i get on an e-mailing list for your releases? I’d like to purchase when available.
I may have read the Mad Magazine version a long time ago, I seem to have a very vague recollection of it. I certainly greatly enjoyed The Simpsons version! If you start following my blog you will receive updates on all publishing-related news.
Unless it would be a bit hideous, did you ever consider Emily Dickinson’s “The Chariot.” (because I could not stop for death he kindly stopped for me.”
I have in fact considered adapting that poem. Maybe my favourite by Dickinson.
Along those lines, Pablo Neruda’s “Nothing But Death” has wonderful imagery that lends itself to the comic form, to the point where the lines are almost art direction. The last line, for example: “and the beds go sailing toward a port / where death is waiting, dressed like an admiral.”
Sounds great, I’ll be sure to check it out! I’m on the look out for a good poem in Spanish to adapt into comics.
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Thank you for the beautiful adaptation.
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Are you intending to put copies up for sale? This would make a perfect gift for my sister.
I’m hoping to finish it in the early part of the coming year.
Since so many others are asking for their favourite poems to be illustrated by you, please may I put in a plea for ‘The Hollow Men’ (including the epigraphs)? It’s been my favourite for almost half a century and I love teaching and examining (on) it.
I have actually given a lot of thought to the possibility of adapting “The Hollow Men” (maybe paired with “Prufrock” in an Eliot comic book). I’ve no idea what it’s going on about half the time (your analysis would be welcome), but I find it incredibly haunting and beautiful, and full of the kind of strong imagery that works in comics form.
This has for years been one of my favorite poems to reread and to teach. I would have resisted a literal depiction, but then I saw yours and have savored every frame, every line, and every little irony or joke (the mantlepiece David, for instance). Thanks for sharing your skill and for reopening the work to me afresh.
Thanks Michael! It’s nice when someone notices the little details!
A great way to teach poetry, nice work!
extremely impressed with the artwork and happy to see a comic version of the prufrock poem! i am a comic book artist myself, as well as a former student of literature, so i find the work to be a big inspiration. regards, harsho
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I am shocked that new readers are acting like your work is something like the second coming when Poetry Comics was created by Dave Morice in 1978 and he has 3 published books of them and is colaberating with people like Binaca Young and paul Tunis each doing the exact same thing with their various talents. Pufrock was the very first poem to be done in this art form in 1978 by Morice a student teacher to impress an Iowa Writers’ Workshop girlfriend. The difference? he did his over night, you are taking 3 years. In 3 years anyone could build Stonehenge! Also you have one dreary style, Morice in his published books showed a wide variety of styles to match the tone of different poems. His innovation has been a teaching aide in schools since 1980. How dare you pose as an innovator, instead of the slow imposter you actually are.
I think you will find I have more than one dreary style, as you might discover if you were to take the time to peruse my website. If you did so, you would find that I wrote a blog entry on Morice’s work about a year ago, one on which he commented, giving me his blessing. To which I wrote back, “It’s an honour to hear from you, Dave! Thanks for your kind words, and thank you for inventing poetry comics!”
Hahaha wow that’s rich…
The finest work (it dwarfs The Waste Land) by America and Britain’s finest poet, beautifully and imaginatively visually realized. Your drawings correspond very closely to how I imagined the poem ever since I first read it. I thank the Boston Globe for referring me to this site, and simply cannot wait to possess the book. This is a masterpiece which makes another masterpiece even greater.
-James F Jillett
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dude..this is exacltly how poems should be taught…ppl will start lovin poetry once they see ur work..i’ve bookmarked ur page and am in a constant effort to make ur work recognized to everyone i can…ur awesome man,i mean that
P.S:i know ur busy completin other works but please consider doin “stopping by the woods on a snowy evening” and “rime of the ancient mariner”-i know u can pull it off man.congrats again and all the best for the amazin works yet to be publised by ur masterful mind.. 😉
Thanks so much! But it would be hard to top Gustave Doré on the Coleridge poem!
PLEASE get this published and let me know when you do. I NEED A COPY!
Stunning – I would buy copies – really needs to be published
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Julian. Hey. I am a poet and English/Creative Writing teacher and teach “Prufrock” every year. This interpretation, via the comic, is brilliant and beautiful. I do hope you get this published. It’s an incredible teaching tool. It’s an incredible piece of art. Good luck finishing. When you do, I will have my school buy multiple copies.
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You are so good Julian! Congratulations on your excellent work.
best one can show it in an artistic way
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Amazing! I absolutely love this idea. Your beautiful artwork really adds to the enjoyment of Eliot’s incredible poetry. I’d love to see the rest of “Prufrock.” Well done!
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Such a complete delight!!! It is gorgeous and well done in every way. Would love to contribute to Kickstarter, if you choose that route. I was going to suggest doing The Wasteland, but it’s hard to illustrate footnotes imaginatively, chuckle. Cheers!
Fascinating to see a visual rendition, especially in comic form, of a poem I have loved for years and had only imagined. And many of your drawings are oddly close to what I had imagined. Great job — eagerly awaiting the rest.
Prufrock may be my favorite poem, one that I subject my lit students to whenever possible. I’m very impressed with your illustrations so far, and I can’t wait to see this project in its finished form. Brilliant stuff.
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Fantastic! haven’t read this poem since high school.
Lovely! Thanks for this- it helped open up the poem for me.
Now among my five favorite illustrations–along with Dore’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Rockwell Kent’s Moby Dick; thank you, and please illustrate one of my poems at “Astrew In Them.”
do I dare disturb the universe? beautiful.
outstanding, julian. you are an illustrator par excellance. really, quality quality stuff. I’m not familiar with t. s. elliot, but from what I got on a first reading, the pictures nail it. and I know how hard that is to do. you illustrate other people’s poetry with your pictures. I use other people’s pictures to illustrate my poetry. and I’m not having a lot of success getting what I want. I can only dream of results like yours. I didn’t dare look at annabel lee. it would have got to me worse than the wasp factory by iain banks. come in here, dear boy, have a cigar. you’re gonna go far, you’re gonna fly high, you’re never gonna die, you’re gonna make it if you try; they’re gonna love you.
Thanks Peter! Much appreciated!
This is tremendous work! Thank you so much.
One of the things I tell my students when we discuss graphic literature is that, many times, the lack of detail in the dialogue isn’t missing, it’s just gone visual. Dickens was a great one for describing everything down to the lint balls in a pocket, but for a graphic medium, we would just show a few lint balls in someones hand instead. The information is still there, just in another form.
Many people have asked the same question as above on “why do we need the pictures when we have the words.” Having taught ESL for years, as well as remedial reading, I can state that, as far as my observations and work has shown, the addition of the graphic material makes it easier for those who are language challenged to make those leaps in understanding the rest of us take for granted.
Fascinating. This is a compelling treatment of (one of) my favourite poem(s).
I haven’t read all the comments, so I may be repeating someone else… but two things occurred to me.
First, the bed in the “restless nights” panel should not be made up.
Second, the last fog panel should be completely blank. (That shouldn’t be too hard to draw!)
Lew is right.
Sure, fine, but we already have the poem. What in the world are the drawings for?
Sure, fine, but we already have snide critics enough. There are comments aplenty on web sites around the world. What in the world is your comment for?
Well, I suppose you could ask, we already have Michelangelo’s David, so why a poem about it? Or for that matter, we have the Bible, so why do we need Michelangelo?
Art builds on art, so why not enhance the words with images? Some of the world’s finest poems are reactions to visual art. Why not go in the opposite direction and graphically react to words? “Why does it exist” is not neccessarily a reasonable response to art.
Yes, as in W. H. Auden’s “Musee des Beaux Arts,” one of my favorite poems — Auden’s speaker is at the Museum of Fine Arts in Brussels, looking at Brueghel paintings, first “Massacre of the Innocents” and then “Icarus.”
The poem begins,
About suffering they were never wrong
The Old Masters.
Other art is a reasonable subject for art, IMO. So a graphic version of Eliot’s “Prufrock” is legit, as would be poems about paintings, etc.
Love. Love. Love. The pacing is crazy good, so true to the poem. Want. More.
More! More! I want to see the sea girls singing to each other. I don’t care if they sing to me or. . .
You’ve brought T.S. Elliot’s wonderful poem to life exactly as I imagined it. I can’t wait for you to finish. The fog is delightful. I am savoring thoughts of the peach, and fearing (a little) the ragged claws. Bravo!
Bravo! This rendering of the poem is spot on, brilliantly conceived and executed. Where can I get the rest?
Do you take personal requests? 🙂
I’ve grown up loving this poem and your illustrations are EXACTLY how I imagined it in my head. Ever better, actually. I hope you get published soon! I can’t think of a better way to teach poetry to children and people who find poetry too abstract and inaccessible.
Brilliant and wonderful! Thanks so much.
Please complete this poem, and then tackle “Ash Wednesday” by Eliot. Also, more Yeats. Your illustrations are perfect in matching the pictures in my mind when reading the poem. Especially love the “patient etherized on a table” and the furry fog.
Wow. Extraordinary work! Thank you for the great imagery. Best wishes
This is beautiful! Where is the book available? It would be the perfect gift for a poet friend of mine.
Just read a glowing review of your work in our local paper (The Hindu dated 10 November ).Prufrock an all-time favorite of mine.Your work is extraordinary and captures the essence of the poem brilliantly.Looking forward to exploring your website at liesure.Hope to see your work in book form soon.
I was introduced to Eliot’s work while in high school, almost 40 years ago. I found that I had to memorize it in order to fully understand it (or to get what passes as understanding). I decided, at the time, to memorize the Complete Works of T.S. Eliot. I started with “The Hollow Men,” then “Prufrock,” and finally “Burnt Norton” before my brain got full. I can still recite them to this day.
The best thing that I can say about your illustrations is that they augment, and do not contradict, the images in my mind as I recite the poem. The are of the time, with exactly the proper styling, and I love that you have inserted Eliot as J. Alfred.
The second best thing I could say as that I know how hard this is, and how easy it would be for your illustrations to pale against the poetry. It does not. I had a music teacher who was attempting to convey to me how hard it is to mix two separate types of art – even words with music. “Did you notice,” he asked me, “that in the musical ‘Cats,’ that the song everyone hums as they leave the theater is the one song for which Eliot did not write the lyrics?”
This was, he explained, because it was so difficult for the composer to construct melodies brilliant enough to stand up to the lyrics. In “Cats,” the lyrics shine through, and the only brilliant melody is “Memories” which was not constrained by Eliot’s poetry.
This is why, for me, your illustrations are remarkable. They stand up to, alongside, and support his words. Kudos to you, sir.
Thanks, David. I really appreciate your comments!
Enjoyed this, and looking forward to the rest of it.
Here’s something I composed sort of as a theme for Prufrock. (This is a live recording of my band, REFUGE.) I think they go well together!
“Talking of Michelangelo”
I regret to admit that I have always felt a strong identification with J. Alfred Prufrock. Naturally, when I saw this link in my Facebook feed, I had to click on it. Amazing. Your artwork is amazing. I am floored. I look forward to further installments.
Extraordinary work, Mr. Peters! Eliot would be proud!
Love it! I had forgotten how much I loved this poem. Your awesome visuals helped me to remember.
once… 1970’s… Washington Square Park… Poez…a menu with poems he could recite for a few dollars… I chose Proofrock…lost in the words while he spoke… THIS! brings back that moment and adds the pictures from your head to the ones in my head. Thank you.
I remember too. email@example.com
I remember too.
Please sir . . Can I have some more?
Prufrock the poem of my heart for over fifty years and now your brilliant visual rendition. Please let me know how and when I can obtain copy.
Wow! Just wow. This is wonderful!
This is brilliant. Brilliant! I will definitely share this with my students and hope for a print copy in the future.
I agree with the other posters. I would contribute if you began a kickstarter campaign. I love this poem, and I would love to have a hard copy to share with my students.
1. I agree with the consensus here – this is brilliant.
2. I would be thrilled to give some support to a kickstarter project if you go that way.
3. One suggestion: Your image of evening spread out against the sky on page two just does not work for me. Placing that body in the foreground cuts it off from the sky which is where the text makes me want to see it and makes it look like somebody dropped a cadaver in the street and wandered off. I think it would work better if it was a background element – perhaps suggestive shapes made out of the dark tops of buildings in the distance…
Thanks! The patient is placed at the bottom of the page to ensure that it is the last element one sees, thus imitating the surprising twist at the end of Eliot’s opening lines. But when one look more closely, one sees that the entire street is also the body of the patient, who is lying “against the sky” in the sense of “facing up at the sky.”
Actually I think it is one of your stronger panels because it is less literal. (Is less literal more literary?) Your use of period detail really helps place the poem in context and explain many social aspects now gone by. But consider imagery that sometimes contrasts the text or even contradicts it. Seeing the poem after 35 years I realize now there’s almost a noir aspect, with this man out walking toward another doomed group date as the evening of his life is beginning to fall. It can be cinematic in the way it flashes ahead and back in time.
Outstanding. This is one of the major poems I use in my Intro to Lit courses. I’ve probably just missed the info but where is the full version available? I also teach a course on the Literature of the Graphic Word, and would like to be able to make this part of the readings for both classes.
That is a wonderful idea. I read this poem with my 11th grade English class. Not being a visual thinker, I often have to rather mechanically parse the lines of poetry. Once I was able to eventually ‘see’ the imagery, I felt it and loved this poem. This would be a really interesting class discussion to have students read the poem without the visuals, and then to see their reactions to the graphical version. Do the visual thinkers in the class react differently to poetry? Did they realize they were visually-oriented? Does the illustrated version help the verbal thinkers grasp it?
Yes, the illustration greatly helps. See my comments on my usage of graphic literature in ESL and remedial reading. I would love to have your input, and everyone else, if you use graphic literature. How do you use it, how do you explain it, what do you do for lesson plans and such. Perhaps one day we can do a group project and put out a pub through the Open Source protocols on the use of graphic literature.
The yellow smoke is too cute. It is an insidious element and its image should reflect that. Otherwise great.
I don’t know. It is supposed to be based on a cat, after all, and we know how much Eliot loved cats. But it could definitely be made it a bit more wispy and immaterial. We shall see.
Wonderful. Thank you.
A lovely and fitting visualization of Eliot’s great poem Julian! Keep up the good work!
Yes! Just, yes.
Absulutly wonderful, well drawn and well conceived. It makes me want to read the poem (surprising for me as I have always avoided poetry) please continue to do this I would buy it as a BD. david black
Excellent! Now, if you are, really, accepting suggestions, then I’d love to see you animate G.M.Hopkins The Windhover and then Andrew Marvel’s Upon Appleton House! Thanks so much for this experience – a melding of my youth with my university years… fascinating.
This is absolutely beautifully done. It went straight to the heart!
Please keep going!
Fabulous. Not to much graphic to detract from the verse but just enough to enhance the experience. I’m sure this would bring in a larger audience to poetry.
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This is the most wonderful thing in the history of the world.
So wonderful. You got the fog just right. This poem is very close to my heart. Your collaboration with it brought tears to my eyes. Please use Kickstarter to fund more. I will contribute. Also, may I email you about your ‘zines?
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Wonderful. If I was still teaching, I’d make sure y students saw this.
Wonderful. If I was still teaching I’d make sure my students saw this.
I teach English 102 and use this poem every semester. I would love to use this.
How he disturb the universe……………..
ths is interesting to reading
This is truly wonderful – Prufrock was the first poem I fell in love with, and you just made me fall in love all over again.
Can’t wait to see the rest – and to see you bring more poems into comics!
Wow! The Lotus Eaters please!
Profound appreciation and many thanks.
This is SO fantastic. And I would love to see you do Kubla Khan.
Thank you! Kubla Khan’s another of my favourites, and I’ve actually given a lot of thought to how I would go about illustrating it. One day, I hope!
Great suggestion – hope you give it a whirl ” In Xanadu did Kublai Khan a stately pleasure dome decree…”
I second that!
Julian Peters, this is amazing. I want to read this to my children.
Very impressive. How about The Waste Land after finishing this?
That would be quite an undertaking! But worthwhile, no doubt.
See “The Wasteland” by Martin Rowson (1990), a comic-book, film noir, version of “The Wasteland” done in Raymond Chandler style. As a compliment to the poem it is excellent.
Wow! I’ll have to check that out!
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Exquisite work! I raced through those first nine pages and wanted to keep going. Got here via Open Culture and was a little skeptical before I started reading/viewing. But your method is so vivid and keenly literate (I love your rendition of “Streets that follow like a tedious argument/
Of insidious intent”) it was irresistible. Congratulations.
Thanks! It’s always nice to win over the skeptics!
Wow … got to the end and wanted to keep going. A really magnificent visual interpretation. No idea what Eliot himself would have thought, but let’s assume silence means assent. I gather you need funding to complete the poem. Have you ever considered Kickstarter? Based on the comments here I can’t imagine you’d have trouble reaching your goal. Anyway, congratulations on your vivid, literate work.
Thanks… I’m considering Kickstarter, in fact.
Agreed. This totally needs a Kickstarter and would garner a ton of funding and support.
Please do! I would definitely kick in a contribution to see this finished. And I have lots of friends who would, too. I’d love to see some of your other poem illustrations in long-format prints, too (which could easily be part of the Kickstarter as well–they’d make a great contributor gift.).
Reblogged this on Librocubicularist and commented:
J. Alfred Prufrock and I have a very strange love/hate relationship.
But I couldn’t NOT reblog this.
Awesome..it was shared by our professor on our college page n have to say, a commendable job..:D
This and Preludes are my favorite Eliot poems and your artistic rendering of the Love Song is fantastic. Thank you for doing it.
Our teacher posted a link of this on our college‘s page.. N i literally thank him for this.. This is absolutely fascinating.. Incredible work.. Loved it..
awesome. looking forward for more
Very impressive … the tempo is just right, the synchronizing between verse & pictures is smooth, both optically and conceptually. Making readable comix verse is very difficult and you’ve done a great job. Looking forward to more projects from you.
An endorsement from the master! Thanks, Mahendra!
This is incredible! It’s innovative and engaging and beautifully communicated. I enjoyed this very much. You’re a great illustrator. Definitely amazing work. I hope this leads to more graphic novels on poetry!
Great work! Wanted to see the rest of it!…
My niece sent me this and I was really taken aback. This is such a beautiful and revolutionary way to introduce poetry to another generation. Brilliant! If this ever goes to book form, you have my support 100%! Thank you for sharing this.
Wish for more comics of the classics.
This is incredible, it’s such a beautifully written poem, and your illustrations match it so well! 😀
Jaw drop. You’ve captured each phrase with skill and insight. I feel like I stumbled upon a great and rare treasure. You’ve managed to actually enhance what was already a brilliant piece of work and take it to new heights. HBL (Granny Lala in Louisiana)
Just gorgeous. My favorite poem of all time, and lends itself perfectly to graphic novel form. What a beautiful project you have here. Congratulations, and thank you so much for this – this absolutely made my morning.
So cool, Julian. This is amazing and it inspires me to write good poetry. Wish this would happen with more and more poetry, helping it come alive for the story reader… You rock man, awesome work, keep going…
This is wonderful. A collection of poems illustrated like this would make a fantastic book for teaching literature to young people. I hope at some point you can secure funding to pursue these projects even further.
Also, though it is a selfish request from someone lacking French language skills, do consider illustrating additional English language poems for your blog.
Thanks! I would love to create more. Hopefully I will have more time soon.
Is this project going to be the complete and uncut poem? This amazing!
Thanks! That’s the plan!
This is lovely, lovely. How can I read more? Do you sell your work?
I have some zine versions, if you’re interested.
How would one get a zine version of this?!
Get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Just terrific, thank you. Robert Frost, I Have Been One Acquainted with the Night, might be interesting to you.
Thanks, Virginia. That’s a beautiful poem, and you’re right, it would make a nice little comic.
I recommend Mr. Flood’s Party:
I didn’t know it, but now I do. It’s quite lovely.
This is phenomenal!
I second that commotion!
Very well done! I hope it gets picked up by a publisher. Some of the suggestions for your next work are interesting and I like them. Let me offer one, much less literary but rife with graphic possibilities: one of Jim Morrison’s longer lyrics, such as “The Celebration of the Lizard” or “The Soft Parade.”
Thanks! The problem with or rock lyrics is that a) the copyright issues are thornier, and b) without the backing music, or at least a familiarity with the backing music, the lines set down on paper don’t generally have that internal rhythm or melody that poetry, almost by definition, must have.
I myself paint a lot about this poem…
I’d love to see some of the results!
This is wonderful. Thank you Someone else has already said: “how about “Sweeney Agonistes” and another has suggested Seamus Heaney. I second both of those and would add W.H. Auden, who has that pithy darkness. When will you publish? Please.
Thanks! “Musée des beaux arts” or “Stop all the clocks” would be naturals.
The Shield of Achilles! (I am absolutely in love with your work, by the way. Fantastic! Thank you for sharing it.)
Thanks! For that Auden poem, it would be fun to draw the whole thing on one large zoom-in-able page, with the panel sequence arranged in a circular spiral as if on an Ancient Greek shield. The adaptation would begin on the outer edge, and the concluding lines would be set in the very middle.
How beautiful. Congratulations
This is such a great idea. I am looking forward to the end product. I am so glad someone decided to do this. Next project: Saki’s short stories. If you haven’t read them, I recommend starting with “Tobermory” and “The Schartz-Metterklume Method.” I thought about doing this back in the ’80s when I was working in the comic book industry but it wasn’t the right time.
Great work! Is it published somewhere?
Not as yet!
Superb work . . . for all ages/education/background. One minor suggestion [since you mentioned possibly revisiting what’s you’ve produced thus far]: perhaps add one or two pedestrians to the panel, “Let us go, Through half-deserted streets”
Thanks, That’s actually a great suggestion -provided the people were very far in the distance, to emphasize the sense of loneliness. Vaguely outlined passersby can actually add to depictions of loneliness, as demonstrated by Edvard Munch’s wonderful street scenes (not to mention “The Scream”).
(And I second Anonymous’ suggestion, it was the only point where I felt a disconnect between the beautiful and haunting words and the beautiful and haunting images… truly a wonderful and moving work you have co-created here! Thank you!)
Beautiful. This brings to life one of my very favorite poems.
I wish I were a publisher, because I’d be knocking down your door with offers! I absolutely cannot wait until this is finished!
Wonderful! I would love to see how you visualize the last lines of this famous poem.
This is simply glorious. Thank you.
This is absolutely superb. You have visualised the poem almost exactly as I have seen it in my mind’s eye over the years. It should be published, there’s no real doubt of that.
This is absolutely fantastic! Prufrock is one of my favorite poems and your rendition of it is beautiful. I have created multiple cabaret performance pieces off of this poem and I love seeing how others view it. I hope you are able to finish it and I will definitely purchase the finished product!
This is awesome work… Please continue… 🙂
This is a wonderful adaptation of one of my favorite poems. I so hope you get to finish it!
fantastic…please finish it…
JULIAN,what you’ve done so far is indescribably astounding!! never attempted earlier! can’t wait to see your illustrations for “I am Lazarus,come from the dead” and “a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen”!! after completing your work for this poem, why not embark on GERONTION and SWEENEY AMONG THE NIGHTINGALES?? it’ll be mind blowing! publishers galore will knock at your door. give it some thought,JULIAN. it’s well worth an attempt. best wishes,Saraswati Subbu
Thanks, there are certainly a lot of other Eliot poems that I would love to adapt, most especially, perhaps, “The Hollow Men.”
THE WASTELAND would be incredible to :-O.
Oh yes. “The Hollow Men”, “Rhapsody on a windy night” and perhaps even Eliot’s magnum opus,”The Wasteland” would be AMAZING! Am eagerly awaiting them all,JULIAN.Warmest regards,Saraswati Subbu
Beautiful drawing — I especially like the character work — great poses, expressions, gestures. etc. Looking forward to seeing the finished piece. There has to be a publisher out there smart enough to pick this up.
Have always loved the poem and now I love this!
Thank you so much, Julian. Terrific work. Many of us here in the Philippines are also pleasured by Eliot, and most especially his Prufrock. Do finish it please. When it becomes a book, it will have a large audience here. And it will certainly set a precedent for other long poems that lend themselves to graphic stylization. Tons of sunshine vibes to you, Julian! 🙂
I also vote for kickstarter! Would love to see you be able to finish this.
This is amazing! Loved it
Hi, first congratulations for your beautiful work. I chanced upon your from a Facebook reference and what I saw is simply astounding. I have, without your permission though, shared the link with a commissioning editor at Penguin, hope that is okay with you. All the best
Thanks a lot, both for the compliments and the sharing with friends in high places!
please finish this!
Start a kickstarter if you need to. I would pay good money for this beautiful art.
I really want folks to share this on Facebook and let out go viral till a publisher takes it up.
I will order multiple copies for my library.
Thanks, my high school honors class will certainly dig this!
The drawing are beautiful,even without the poem which reads like an advertising copy.
Like advertising copy?! That’s an interesting take. How do you mean?
…. the twomen come and go talking of Michelangelo/etherized on a table/prufrock/ …these upperclass blaseness..why on earth would those women talk about Michelangelo? Please.haha do you hav a Seamus Heaney one?I haven’t looked but that would be interesting,if you can paraphrase this poet through ur comely drawings.thanks.
In this poem, written in 1915, Eliot almost single-handedly invented the modernist poetic movement.
The line in which the evening is “spread out against the sky / like a patient etherised upon a table” would have infuriated some readers back then, fascinated others, and I would argue it continues to confuse us today. After all, what does it mean? What is it selling?
Anyway, there was no such thing as “advertising copy,” really, when he wrote it so I guess it’s a kind of compliment.
The ‘talk of Michelangelo’,means they are discussing the perfect male specimen; a reference to Michelangelo’s ‘David’.
This is stunning so far. I’m hardly artistic, but I’ve been memorizing Prufrock lately, so I’ve come to know the lines fairly well. And you’ve captured them truly and beautifully. I hope this will be available for purchase. I want two copies…one to frame, and one to carry around in my purse. Well done!
I adore this. Beautiful, thoughtful illustrations. It’s one of my favorite poems, and your style complements it so well that I read it with fresh eyes. I would happily give good money for a copy of the finished book (to share with my high school students) and for prints of key pages or scenes to frame. I will follow your work closely for the opportunity. 🙂
Please email me when this is available, I want to get it for my institutional library. jlupkin (at) tulane (dot) e du
Me too me too! I’m desolate that this isn’t already done, and the holidays so close. Where’s your work ethic! (j/k). Anyway — thank you for evangelizing one of the world’s greatest poems. It reflects the birth of modern wavering, an activity very near to my heart.
Love this! I do hope you will finish this!
Great work! I recently produced an evening of T.S. Eliot at the Mid-Manhatttan Library on 5th Avenue in New York City. I urge you to complete this fine work.
Artistic Director, Triangle Theatre
As a child I heard this poem and then read it time and time again; it has stayed with me throughout my life and meant so many different things to me at different times. This is a beautifully illustrated rendering of it. Thank you for it. x
Flabbergasted…the love song is still ringing 🙂
Congratulations. Great work. Are you really looking for a publisher?
Thanks! And yes, I am.
Lovely. Eager to see the rest. For
we have lingered in the chambers of the sea
by sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
till human voices wake us, and we drown
I zipped through the comments so don’t know if anyone else has mentioned this. Your work is an amazing way to introduce younger readers–teens–to a poem like Prufrock. They adore graphic novels. The poem is sufficiently accessible (which I know is a dirty word in the world of poetry). And it’s really just brilliant. Please hold out for a published book, not a chapbook. I’m a retired (New York Public Library) librarian and collection developer, so take my word for it…
Thanks for the advice, Marsha. Obviously a proper published book would be my preference. We’ll see.
Posted on fb and got resounding affirmation from the retired Head of Young Adult Services and the current Head of Collections and Circulations Operations. Have a pair of literary agents and an executive editor for a major publisher– in my building–would love to share with them and gauge their interest.
I will send them the link to your site and follow up. If “graphic poetry” is not for them but they have recommendations I’m sure they will share with me. Good people.
Thanks a lot, Marsha!
beautiful and moving
This is intensely beautiful, I’ve often wandered whether 20th century poetry can be converted into the graphic novel format? And you’ve answered my question, it IS possible to render those exquisite fragments and epiphanies of Modernism into poignant yet sublime images. I would love to see more of this!
Thanks so much! Certainly it’s a challenge that never ceases to inspire me.
Wunnerful. Wunnerful. Wunnerful
I would like to have prints of some of your illustrations. They are terrific. How can I get them?
Well, I guess it depends what you mean by prints. Please contact me at email@example.com and we can discuss it.
Simply superb.Looking forward to the rest of the comics.This will definitely help me while studying “The Love Song of J.Alfred Prufrog”.Thanks.
I am a fan, Julian! You are a chosen soul, please make this world more beautiful!
The flow of the visualization pulled me along. I remembered learning to like poetry a long time ago when a high school English teacher taught us to read poetry as spoken, rather than stiffly dramatized (don’t know if that makes sense…). Anyway, lovely – please continue – and I believe you would have a market for this type of work in the schools
Beautiful. I can’t wait to teach this poem again, now that your art has made it accessible to people who would have to be told how to appreciate the poem.
fantastic! I will love to use this as a teaching tool for Prufrock with my poetry undergrads. Thanks for this!
This is truly outstanding work! Consider submitting this (when finished) to Thrush Press we publish chapbooks and would love to work with you on this! Visit our website for further information. Please consider contacting us! http://www.thrushpress.com
Great work! Eliot would have loved this. I look forward to reading the rest.
This is truly outstanding work! Consider submitting this (when finished) to Thrush Press we publish chapbooks and would love to work with you on this! Visit our website for further information. Please consider contacting us! http://www.thrushpress.com
Thanks, I will definitely consider submitting this when I am done (hopefully before too too long). It looks like you publish some beautiful works!
The reason I love blogging is because I come across blogs like yours.
The way you visualize the lines is brilliantly imaginative. It takes the poem to another level. Would love to see it in its entirety.
the way you visualize the lines is brilliant. Speaks highly of your imaginative capability. Would love to see it in its entirety.
This is really amazing.
Your image for “the patient etherized upon a table” is so brilliant that I can’t not think of it when I read the poem again. Good work! Please finish it, I’m really looking forward to what you’d do with the last paragraph. The mermaids! 🙂
Thanks a lot, Himanshi! I’m looking forward to the mermaids too!
Okay, *that* was just beautiful. I didn’t think it was possible for the experience of reading The Love Song to get any better than it already was, every single time. You just managed that, for me. Please do finish the whole thing when you’re able to!
Great work really. This is my favourite poem… and now, I look forward to the rest….
Kickstarter really works! I’d give it a try. I’d love to see more. So very beautiful and moving. I was just transported. Thank you!
This is amazingly creative. A-MA-ZING!
I love it! I love the fact that you made the main character look like Eliot (or be Eliot). I always see him as the main character when I read the poem. Eagerly awaiting the rest…coffee spoons, arms downed with light brown hair, mermaids… 🙂
I’m glad you caught on to that! It always had to be Eliot in my mind.
Outstanding work. It really brings the poem to life and will undoubtedly introduce a new set of readers to it. Looking forward to more
Loved it. My all time favourite poem.
The imagery of “the yellow fog ……” Is that of a cat. Wish the fog were hunched and falling off the window panes.
I tried to give the fog a cat-like movement (and cat eyes), but I’m not altogether satisfied with it. The fog should be swirlier and slinkier. I might re-do that page at some point, but then, if I start going down that road, I’ll eventually want to redraw everything.
Yes, the fog should be more sinister. More predatory cat. Don’t redraw everything, but yeah, the eyes are a bit cute.
Awesome! Beautiful and haunting. Can’t wait to see the rest!
Glad to see such demand for more of this. A Modernist page I subscribe to gave a link today, and I think the work is brilliant. I have seriously pursued ink illustration before, but now I’m a grad student focusing on Joyce. This is making me want to try interpreting some poems in illustrated form. I’m also thinking of giving it as a writing assignment to students to see writing from another perspective. I echo the others, and I know you want to finish this. I hope it happens and that you take on other works as well.
I’m a grad student too, but I’m almost done, and hoping to have more time to draw again. I hope you do find the time to adapt some poems, by Joyce or others. I’d love to see them when you do.
What a wonderful job! This is amazing. I read Prufrock for the first time over thirty years ago, and your iterpretation is spot on. I would buy it in a heartbeat. I hope you find time and inspiration to finish.
Have you considered a crowd funding site like Kickstarter? You could self-publish. It’s so beautiful I’d love to have a copy, and I’d be happy to pay for the chance to help…
Thanks for the idea, Kara. I’ll look into it. It’s more time that I’m missing at the moment, but then it’s really true that time is money. And maybe such a campaign would attract more attention to the piece, including that of a potential publisher.
Love this! I’m an ex-illustrator (got tired of freelance) and habe written papers on this poem! Was fantastic to see it from an artists eye!
This is lovely, and I can’t wait to see the finished product!
Thank you for all these words of encouragement, which I was much in need of. I was in fact planning on starting to finish this work in earnest early in the coming year. I think I have finally figured out how to draw “I have measured out my life with coffee spoons,” which was a bit of a stumbling block. Stay tuned!
Is this out in a book form yet? It is outstanding!
I would buy a copy of the completed version of this. I love it. I LOVE IT!
Can’t even tell you how much I love this–I will definitely be using it the next time I teach this poem.
There will be time, there will be time
To finish this great work of art that you’ve commenced. SO looking forward to seeing your sketch of the Prince Hamlet not meant to be!
Beautiful work. You must finish your comic in the same way that Eliot needed to finish his poem. Then it will have its own life and will find its place in communication and art. Thank you!
This is amazing and would be an excellent tool for teaching this poem! Well worth finishing!
This is so beautiful I cannot even describe it. I would love a copy, this is my favorite poem of all time
Yes, please do finish — I think it’s great!
You need to finish this soon, this is fantastic!
Thanks! I will try.
With a bald spot in the middle of my head, ….couldnt have done it better, lovely work
I would buy this. I would buy this 3 times.
Congratulations and thank you for this lovely work. Looking forward to seeing the rest of it!
If you’re still keen for more when you’re done, try giving Prufrock’s Pervigilium a go. Equally vivid imagery – just a lot darker.
You can read it at: http://www.usask.ca/english/prufrock/pervig.htm
Wow! Thanks for letting me know about this. I had no idea. It certainly might be worth including this insert in my finished Prufrock comic, also because perhaps then it would make the thing long enough to publish as a stand alone book.
This is great. Thank you for posting.
Hello, I love you (by which I mostly mean this). That is all.
Please, please, please finish this!
I will. I promise!
Finish the project! I like what you’re doing a lot. My students are studying this poem right now. Any guesses about the meaning of the crab and the mermaids?
OK OK! Some day soon! I promise! One of the good things about illustrating poetry is that you don’t have to really figure out what the text is actually about; you just try to capture the vague images that it conjures up in your head. I think we spend too much time trying to derive meaning out of poetry anyway, rather than just enjoying it for its sensual qualities. Still, such speculation can be amusing: I suppose the crab scuttling about at the bottom of the sea could represent the kind of completely anti-social existence that Prufrock feels his temperament would be better suited to (who hasn’t felt that way at one time or another?). As for the mermaids, I always took them to represent an idealized romantic love, always out of reach, that the protagonist daydreams about.
Knowing Eliot’s biography, the mermaids are perhaps better thought of as sirens (as representative of women in general). The sirens are both alluring and dangerous. Eliot’s own views on and attitude towards women was distasteful at best. His treatment of his first wife was hardly romantic. The final tercet shows (on this interpretation) that Prufrock (and all men: “we”) have wasted our time chasing “sea-girls.”
Stumbled upon this will prepping for a class project. This is fantastic work. I would LOVE to see the rest of your interpretation of this piece.
Thanks, Christopher! I appreciate it. I have a back log of drawing projects to get through, but I definitely intend to complete this in the not too distant future, and maybe release it in installments, one page a week.
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Amazing art, Julian. I do hope you feel motivated to finish it.
Thanks a lot, Alessandra. I definitely plan to finish this at some point, hopefully in the not too distant future.
Genius. Please, finish. A+ art and concept.
Thanks! Now I am starting to think that I really should try to finish this.
Absolute Gorgeous Work!! I really would be interested to see it in it’s entirety!!
Thanks a lot! I’d be interested to see it too… One day, I hope!
Julian this is awesome. Please post the rest. I’m astonished by the power of your art.
Thank you, Cristina; I really appreciate you saying that. Unfortunately the nine pages of Prufrock I have up are the only ones I have created thus far. I will happily finish the comic if ever someone expresses an interest in publishing it. I have most of the images for the rest of the poem worked out in my head. I also think I might like to redraw some of the faces of the protagonist. I was trying to make him look like a young Eliot, but I think I could have done a better job in a few instances.
Publish it via Lulu.com
I know I’d buy at least two copies.
Great work, the art is beautiful.
Thanks so much! I will be posting the rest of the poem as soon as I get a chance
I look forward to it Julian. Your art work is fascinating. Let this message convey that a fan of yours from New Delhi is eagerly waiting for your portrayal of the rest of the poem.
This is absolutely fantastic. The Love Song was, perhaps the first poem that inspired me to learn more about the art and to start composing poetry.
I am so impressed at this Julian. Congratulations.
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