Babytalk 1: Extract from ‘The lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock’ by T.S.Eliot



Apocalypse baby is not far off.  In seven weeks, I will be a daddy. This will be the coolest thing in the whole wide world. It will also signal the end of my world.

From the chrysalis of my past, I will emerge into middle-aged parenting like a  glorious Pop-tart firing out of a wonky toaster.

What use is there for books, I will say, when I have the wisdom of my elders, plus I won’t be allowed a moments peace. Nothing except brainwashing cults and Barney the dinosaur can take away memories though, and that is where poetry comes in. While I am changing baby, or crying myself to sleep knowing my wife is suffering far worse, I can relive the glories of my past reciting babified versions of favourite poems to my wonderful son. The future is bright. That’s why I am going to wear shades to protect my puffy Panda light-sensitive eyes from the burning rays of the sun.

I know baby Pau will inspire material for writing. The creative well of potential false memories and hallucinations caused by sleep deprivation cannot be allowed to go untapped so I plan to keep a pocket-sized notebook and Ikea pencil at hand to barrel the stuff. If drops in lucidity reduce manual dexterity skills or I have my hands full with nappies, bottles and handwipes, I can record my burblings on my smartphone safe in the knowledge that this crude material at the very least might qualify as Dadaist.

So here because I am at heart a jackass is a recording I made trying to babify a well-known section of T.S.Eliot’s The lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock addressed to my dog, June, who will act as a stand-in until the arrival of little man Pau. The original version is also included.


2 thoughts on “Babytalk 1: Extract from ‘The lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock’ by T.S.Eliot

  1. Lovely poem for Pau, much preferred your version to the original by T S Elliot. Before you know it, young Pau will be “measuring his life in coffee spoons”! Babies always appreciate some poetry and singing, so you and he will get along just fine.

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