And would it have been worth it, after all,
After the cups, the marmalade, the tea,
Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,
Would it have been worth while,
To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
To have squeezed the universe into a ball
To roll it toward some overwhelming question,
To say: "I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all"
If one, settling a pillow by her head,
Should say, "That is not what I meant at all.
That is not it, at all."
In this stanza, Prufrock addresses his "question" as if the opportunity to present it has come and gone. He asks himself wether it would have been beneficial to ask the "question" after all. He describes the effort it would have taken him to be quite substantial. "To squeeze the entire universe into a ball", pretty excessive for a mere question, don't you think? Prufrock now quotes events from the Bible. He relates the difficulty of addressing a question to the extent of returning from hell, as said in the Bible. The apparent misunderstanding at the end of the stanza could be Prufrock's imagination of his lover's reply to his "question". He concludes that, after all, it would not have been worthwhile to ask the oh so "overwhelming question". Also, that somehow, there would have been some type of miscommunication between Prufrock and his lover, but how and why?