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If No One Shifts the Stars

Do I Dare?

By Abigail PenhallegonPublished 4 months ago Updated 4 months ago 1 min read
If No One Shifts the Stars
Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash


I dare disturb the universe?”

Said one Alfred J. Prufrock,

Thinking that to share his thoughts

Required a massive shift.

After all, is it not easier to

Chatter of safe, simple, shallow things

Than to say, “This is how

I think and feel, here is something new!”

Of course, he was right to wonder, safe to stay silent. But if

No one shifts the stars . . .

*. *. *. *.

Author’s Note:

For anyone who may not know (and there’s no reason to expect everyone would know), Alfred J. Prufrock is the narrating character in T. S. Eliot’s poem “The Love Song of Alfred J. Prufrock.” This poem is a favorite of a friend of mine, and when we lived together at school, she had the quote “Do I Dare Disturb the Universe?” hanging in her room. Now, the poem is a bit long, so I understand if you don’t want to read it, but I loved this quote. Prufrock is a bit awkward and anxious, and when he goes to a social party, he doesn’t know how to handle himself. The women aren’t very interested in him to begin with, and if he shares his thoughts with them as they talk about Michelangelo, they don’t seem to understand or care about what he says.

I think this idea, “do I dare disturb the universe,” is applicable in so many ways. It goes far beyond whether or not to talk at a party. I hope it strikes your fancy the way it struck my friend’s- and mine.


About the Creator

Abigail Penhallegon

I'm an aspiring novelist. I've started many stories and just recently become more confident in my abilities due to the encouragement of great friends and teachers. I'd like to spread joy through my writing, so prepare for happy endings. :)

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Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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Comments (1)

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  • Julia Schulz4 months ago

    I've always loved the line about measuring in coffee spoons in that piece..a favorite of mine, so perhaps I'm biased. I have OCD and am meticulous about my actions being the best for preserving the environment, so I often feel like I'm tithing my herbs like a Pharisee or measuring things with coffee spoons and wish to use a similar line in a poem.

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