Mizmor L'David Anthology 


Poetica Magazine
                                           Contemporary Jewish Writing

Jacqueline Jules is the author of three chapbooks including Itzhak Perlman's Broken String, winner of the 2016 Helen Kay Chapbook Prize from Evening Street Press. Her poetry has appeared in over 100 publications. 


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My English Teacher Never Told Me
Jacqueline Jules

“Let us go then, you and I…” from The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot

The language licked my senses.

Made seventeen-year-old me

read and re-read until I

was roaming the streets,

longing to eat a peach

and wear my trousers rolled.

Prufrock was afraid the mermaids

would not sing to him. So was I.

He was afraid of drowning, too.

His words rose and fell in my ears,

lilting waves upon the beach.

I still swoon a bit reciting them.

But I shouldn’t, should I?

knowing now, the poet saw me

as nothing more than a ragged pair

of claws scuttling across the sand.

My English teacher never told me

Eliot hated Jews. Did he know?

Did he wonder, grading a Jewish girl’s

praise of Prufrock?

Can I blame him? For what? For giving me

a chance to separate the art from the artist

and to learn that not everyone I admire

is as flawless as I’d like.