Love is Enough

William Morris’ Love is Enough has been on my mind this morning. “He makes a poem these days–in dismal Queen Square in black old filthy London in dull end of October he makes a pretty poem that is to be wondrously happy; and it has four sets of lovers in it and THEY ALL ARE HAPPY…
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Tragic Lovers

Early Death by Elizabeth Siddal Oh grieve not with thy bitter tears The life that passes fast; The gates of heaven will open wide And take me in at last. Then sit down meekly at my side And watch my young life flee; Then solemn peace of holy death Come quickly unto thee. But true…
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Goblin Market

“We must not look at goblin men, We must not buy their fruits:” Written in 1859 by  Christina Rossetti (sister to Dante Gabriel Rossetti), Goblin Market is a narrative poem of two sisters who encounter temptation. It is a complex poem–almost too complex to delve into for a blog post simply because it is hard…
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Lizzie Siddal: Love and Hate

Many people hear about Elizabeth Siddal through dramatic anecdotes of her life, such as the serious illness she suffered as a result of  posing in a bathtub for Sir John Everett Millais’ Ophelia (above). In 1860 she married artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti and died a mere two years later of a laudanum overdose.  The fact…
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Then be not coy, but use your time

For the title of his 1909 painting Gather Ye Rosebuds While Ye May, John William Waterhouse used a line from the poem To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time by Robert Herrick (1597-1674) Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, Old Time is still a-flying; And this same flower that smiles today Tomorrow will be…
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The Unrequited Love of Mariana

Above is Sir John Everett Millais’ painting Mariana, which I’ve blogged about before in this post. Her dress is bluer than blue, the stained glass is exquisite, but let us have a moment of silence for the little mouse who died for Millais to include him in the work. When Millais first exhibited this painting…
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Love is a place

One of the benefits of an active reading life is that when you read not only for pleasure but for improvement, then similar themes in different authors’ works seem to just float to you. Unbidden. Like synergy. Today I read e.e.  cummings’ Love is a Place: love is a place & through this place of…
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Lamia Revisited

Left to herself, the serpent now began To change; her elfin blood in madness ran, Her mouth foam’d, and the grass, therewith besprent, Wither’d at dew so sweet and virulent;  — Excerpt from Lamia, John Keats   I’ve shared John William Waterhouse’s first depiction of Lamia (1905) on this site at least twice, but I’ve…
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Happy World Poetry Day

To celebrate World Poetry Day, I share one of my favorite poems by Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Sudden Light  I have been here before,                 But when or how I cannot tell:          I know the grass beyond the door,                 The sweet keen smell, The sighing sound, the lights around the shore.            You have been…
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MUSE: A new poetry collection by Dawn Marie Kresan

Elizabeth Siddal still continues to inspire. Dawn Marie Kresan explores multiple aspects of Siddal’s life and legacy in a newly-published poetry collection, Muse. I was unprepared for the depth of emotion Kresan’s work creates. Her expertly crafted poems touch upon Lizzie’s discovery and role as muse to the Pre-Raphaelites.  Several poems include moments of Lizzie’s…
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Oh Beautiful Moon

Did you see the moon this weekend? The full-bodied and absolutely perfect moon? It has inspired a moon themed blog post of the Pre-Raphaelite variety: A Match With The Moon WEARY already, weary miles to-night I walked for bed: and so, to get some ease, I dogged the flying moon with similes. And like a…
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I Lock My Door Upon Myself

  Fernand Khnopff was not a Pre-Raphaelite painter, but I wanted to share his 1891 painting I Lock My Door Upon Myself which draws inspiration from Christina Rossetti’s poem Who Shall Deliver Me? Khnopff’s title comes specifically from this stanza: I lock my door upon myself, And bar them out; but who shall wall Self…
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Pre-Raphaelite Poetry: Proserpine

As Rossetti often did, he wrote a sonnet to accompany his striking painting of Proserpine (model: Jane Morris) Afar away the light that brings cold cheer Unto this wall, – one instant and no more Admitted at my distant palace-door Afar the flowers of Enna from this drear Dire fruit, which, tasted once, must thrall…
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