As she laughed I was aware of becoming involved in her laughter and being part of it, until her teeth were only accidental stars with a talent for squad-drill. I was drawn in by short gasps, inhaled at each momentary recovery, lost finally in the dark caverns of her throat, bruised by the ripple of unseen muscles. An elderly waiter with trembling hands was hurriedly spreading a pink and white checked cloth over the rusty green iron table, saying: "If the lady and gentleman wish to take their tea in the garden, if the lady and gentleman wish to take their tea in the garden..." I decided that if the shaking of her breasts could be stopped, some of the fragments of the afternoon might be collected, and I concentrated my attention with careful subtlety to this end.
This poem is in the public domain.
T. S. Eliot
Born in Missouri on September 26, 1888, T. S. Eliot is the author of The Waste Land, which is now considered by many to be the most influential poetic work of the twentieth century.
Date Published: 1915-01-01
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/hysteria