You know, when I’d listened to Jeffrey Eugenides’ Middlesex, there was this tiny little tickling in the back of my brain that something I recalled was just out of my reach. This evening, while listening to T. S. Eliot read “The Wasteland,” I finally stumbled across what had caused that sensation. Behold, this lovely bit of synchronicity:
Under the brown fog of a winter noon
Mr. Eugenides, the Smyrna merchant
Unshaven, with a pocket full of currants
C.i.f. London: documents at sight,
Asked me in demotic French
To luncheon at the Cannon Street Hotel
Followed by a weekend at the Metropole.
At the violet hour, when the eyes and back
Turn upward from the desk, when the human engine waits
Like a taxi throbbing waiting,
I Tiresias, though blind, throbbing between two lives,
Old man with wrinkled female breasts, can see
At the violet hour, the evening hour that strives
Homeward, and brings the sailor home from sea,
The typist home at teatime, clears her breakfast, lights
Her stove, and lays out food in tins.
How’s that for just lovely?