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A continuing selection of classic and contemporary poems.

Hysteria

T. S. Eliot

As she laughed I was aware of becoming involved
in her laughter and being part of it, until her
teeth were only accidental stars with a talent
for squad-drill. I was drawn in by short gasps,
inhaled at each momentary recovery, lost finally
in the dark caverns of her throat, bruised by
the ripple of unseen muscles. An elderly waiter
with trembling hands was hurriedly spreading a
pink and white checked cloth over the rusty
green  iron table, saying: ‘If the lady and
gentleman wish to take their tea in the garden,
if the lady and gentleman wish to take their tea
in the garden…’ I decided that if the shaking
of her breasts could be stopped, some of the
fragments of the afternoon might be collected,
and I concentrated my attention with careful
subtlety to this end.
Online text © 1998-2014 Poetry X. All rights reserved.
From Prufrock and Other Observations | 1917
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