Top 7 i’ve measured my life in coffee spoons

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“Poetry makes nothing happen,” says W.H. Auden in his “In Memory of W.B. Yeats.” Perhaps living in the 21st century renders me more inclined to agree with modern poets like Auden (and yes, when it comes to British Literature, 1939 counts as modern), but, regardless, I find myself mentally assenting each time I read that poem. Auden is on to something; it makes sense in my mind that poetry as mere poetry makes nothing happen. However, in the act of studying poetry, blogging about it, investigating minute details and nuances, something happens. Poetry plucks at heart strings, stirs something in souls, conjures up images of dancing and laughter, mourning and sadness. What is it Wordsworth says? Poetry is “the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility”. It sounds to me as if Auden is simply expounding upon Wordsworth, for Auden presents us with the thought that if poetry is not rooted in powerful feelings, it makes nothing happen. Further, Auden’s explanation emphasizes the importance of an audience, for even powerful poetry makes nothing happen if there is no audience.

Even Auden’s 20th century pessimism acknowledges the importance of poets gone before him. When he turns the elegy on its head in 1939, he still respectfully and beautifully gives a nod in Yeats’ direction. Auden recognizes the unrealistic approach of, say, Percy Bysshe Shelley when he likens Keats to a demi-god in “Adonais.” Instead, Auden immortalizes Yeats by acknowledging his influence on later poets.

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“Now he is scattered among a hundred cities And wholly given over to unfamiliar affections, To find his happiness in another kind of wood And be punished under a foreign code of conscience. The words of a dead man Are modified in the guts of the living. But in the importance and noise of to-morrow When the brokers are roaring like beasts on the floor of the Bourse, And the poor have the sufferings to which they are fairly accustomed, And each in the cell of himself is almost convinced of his freedom, A few thousand will think of this day As one thinks of a day when one did something slightly unusual What instruments we have agree The day of his death was a dark cold day. You were silly like us; your gift survived it all: The parish of women, physical decay, Yourself. Mad Ireland hurt you into poetry. For poetry makes nothing happen: it survives In the valley of its making where executives Would never want to tamper, flows on south From ranches of isolation and the busy griefs, Raw towns that we believe and die in; it survives, A way of happening, a mouth.”

Poetry tells a story to its audience, and through its audience the story stays alive. So, what’s the point of this blog? Theoretically, the point is to provide British literature from the Middle Ages through the 18th century with a lifeline. Realistically, it’s an assignment for one of my upper level literature classes.

And, what’s the header quote about? How do coffee spoons relate? Well, in all honesty, this passage of Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” exactly captures how I sometimes feel when chasing an English degree. When I repeatedly fall in love with dead authors and fantastical stories, I wonder if I’m pursuing something completely pointless and impractical. And then I realize how much I’ve learned about life, how I can now think about issues critically and not feel threatened, how I’ve let things like the complete skepticism of postmodernism shape my faith into something personal and real, how I’ve been challenged over and over again to empathize with unlikeable characters, and how, impractical though it may seem, I’ve then been able to apply those lessons to real-world scenarios. My degree may sometimes feel pointless, but it’s not.

So, class credit aside, this is my attempt at making British literature personal. I hope to somehow communicate the pieces of truth that can be found in literature. And, if that doesn’t work, I at least wish to communicate some of my passion for words, as I read them and continue their life in words of my own.

And, because we English majors sometimes like to turn things on their heads, I will begin with the 18th century and work backwards to the Middle Ages. This could result in several things: First, it could very well mean that my posts get increasingly less interesting as the subject matter gets older and more obscure; Second, it could mean that I make parallels to modern literature, as I have done in this post, to help me make connections to things I’ve already read; and Third, ideally as I go along, it will be obvious why literary styles came about as they did in response to certain previous trends or issues.

Enjoy!

Top 7 i've measured my life in coffee spoons edited by Takeout Food

Forget Coffee Spoons: I Can Now Measure Out My Life With Facebook Updates

  • Author: bethkanter.org
  • Published: 05/22/2022
  • Review: 4.9 (969 vote)
  • Summary: · I have measured out my life with coffee spoons; … is not any different than in the past and what I’ve used when doing a training for those 

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Blog Archives – LIFE IN COFFEE SPOONS

  • Author: lifeincoffeespoons.weebly.com
  • Published: 04/07/2022
  • Review: 4.77 (331 vote)
  • Summary: · I have measured out my life with coffee spoons; … I’ve only had one turned in. From both classes combined. Remember that it’s a test, 

I Have Measured Out My Life With Coffee Spoons – Reinterred Blog

  • Author: reinterred.blogspot.com
  • Published: 11/03/2022
  • Review: 4.44 (471 vote)
  • Summary: · I grow old… I’ve not heard the mermaids murmur each to each [Update: Oh I see I misremembered this line It should be “singing” not “murmur 

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Prufrock and Pricey Pants: My Favorite Poem

  • Author: allninemuses.wordpress.com
  • Published: 12/05/2021
  • Review: 3.99 (426 vote)
  • Summary: · “I have measured out my life with coffee spoons…” ~ From The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock | Image by Luis Valdez via Freeimages.com
  • Matching search results: What I love about this poem is Eliot’s hesitancy. I will/ I won’t. I should try/I won’t try. I should ask/I wouldn’t dare ask. How many of these frivolous decisions we make in a day and all to lead us to the bigger inquiries: What am I? Where am I …

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock – student project – Skillshare

  • Author: skillshare.com
  • Published: 02/20/2022
  • Review: 3.83 (544 vote)
  • Summary: or “I’ve measured out my life in coffee spoons”. Here are some other covers and illustrations based on the poem that I found while scouring the internets
  • Matching search results: So after that I went digging for a period-appropriate image of a man’s collar and tie. It was hard to find an image that was large enough to use for a book cover but I ran across a handful of possible candidates. I wanted to cross the ideas of a …

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I have measured out my life with coffee spoons I know the voices dying with a dying fall Beneath the music from a farther room. So how should I presume?

  • Author: goodreads.com
  • Published: 12/18/2021
  • Review: 3.67 (282 vote)
  • Summary: I know the voices dying with a dying fall . Beneath the music from a farther room . So how should I presume?”
  • Matching search results: So after that I went digging for a period-appropriate image of a man’s collar and tie. It was hard to find an image that was large enough to use for a book cover but I ran across a handful of possible candidates. I wanted to cross the ideas of a …

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

  • Author: treadingpaper.wordpress.com
  • Published: 04/29/2022
  • Review: 3.48 (475 vote)
  • Summary: · In fact, I like it so much I’ve started to… … I thought of it as the “I have measured my life with coffee spoons” poem, as that was the 
  • Matching search results: As you read on, you realize the poem is about fear, insecurity, comparison, procrastination, paralyzation, regret and the endless What if…? Prufrock seems to be chronically insecure, obsessed with and afraid of what others think of him. Thus, he …

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