The Lady of Shalott Poem

The Lady of Shalott Alfred, Lord Tennyson On either side the river lieLong fields of barley and of rye,That clothe the wold and meet the sky;And through the field the road runs by     To many-towered Camelot; And up and down the people go,Gazing where the lilies blow Round an island there below,     The island of Shalott.  Willows whiten, aspens … Read more

My Ladys Soul: The Poetry of Elizabeth Siddall

Elizabeth Siddall is a strikingly familiar face to Pre-Raphaelite lovers. She is known to many as Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s muse and the face of Millais’ doomed Ophelia. But she was more than that. Through her own artwork and poetry, we can look beyond her face and attempt to hear her voice. A new edition of … Read more

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 … Read more

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 … Read more

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 … Read more

Lizzie Siddal: Love and Hate

Ophelia, Sir John Everett Millais

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 … Read more

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 … Read more

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. “But where was the mouse to … Read more

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 … Read more

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 … Read more

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 … Read more

Sunset Wings

Having just mentioned this poem in the post La Pia de Tolomei, I found it fitting to choose Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s poem Sunset Wings as the poem of the week. According to this page at the Rossetti Archive, the poems most striking images focus on a flock of starlings that DGR noticed during his sojourn … Read more