Strangers and Pilgrims

Season 1 – Death of the Prophet Joseph Smith

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Yeats, Eliot, and Indecision on Stairs

In 1933 W.B. Yeats published the book of poetry “The Winding Stair and Other Poems”

The poem Vacillation V, from this book, has the following stanza:

Things said or done long years ago,

Or things I did not do or say

But thought that I might say or do,

Weight me down, and not a day

But something is recalled,

My conscience or my vanity appalled.

The idea of vacillations on a staircase remind me of the vacillations on a staircase of Prufrock in T.S. Eliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock:

And indeed there will be time

To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?”

Time to turn back and descend the stair,

In a minute there is time

For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.