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Posts Tagged ‘Christina Rossetti’

Today is World Poetry Day. It has been celebrated since 1999, when UNESCO established it, in part to reaffirm “our common humanity by revealing to us that individuals, everywhere in the world, share the same questions and feelings”. You can see the full explanation, of wich I have quoted only a small part here, at the above link.

Because I’ve been watching a lot of fairytale-themed films and television series recently, including Grimm, Once Upon a Time, and (tonight) the film Enchanted, I decided to post here, without any analysis thereof, three poems on similar themes. I have not added any pictures to this blog post either, that you may create your own pictures from the words you read. (more…)

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Autumn Leaves (1856), Sir John Everett Millais 1829-1896 ; Oil on canvas (Manchester Galleries), via Wikimedia Commons

Autumn Leaves (1856), Sir John Everett Millais 1829-1896 ; Oil on canvas (Manchester Galleries), via Wikimedia Commons

Autumn is coming, and Christina Rossetti’s Goblin Market, in those first lines heaping fruit upon fruit, is to me a poem of that season. I accept that it doesn’t make a lot of sense, as many of the fruits are summer produce, but still it says Autumn to me; in the heaping of the fruit I see the work of creating preserves for the colder months, and this is something I do as Autumn comes.

Goblin Market

Morning and evening
Maids heard the goblins cry:
“Come buy our orchard fruits,
Come buy, come buy:
Apples and quinces,
Lemons and oranges,
Plump unpeck’d cherries,
Melons and raspberries,
Bloom-down-cheek’d peaches,
Swart-headed mulberries,
Wild free-born cranberries,
Crab-apples, dewberries,
Pine-apples, blackberries,
Apricots, strawberries;—
All ripe together
In summer weather,—
Morns that pass by,
Fair eves that fly;
Come buy, come buy:
Our grapes fresh from the vine,
Pomegranates full and fine,
Dates and sharp bullaces,
Rare pears and greengages,
Damsons and bilberries,
Taste them and try:
Currants and gooseberries,
Bright-fire-like barberries,
Figs to fill your mouth,
Citrons from the South,
Sweet to tongue and sound to eye;
Come buy, come buy.” (more…)

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Given this post is more an announcement of future regular posts resuming, as opposed to an actual post in itself, I thought I’d post some of my favourite pictures of medieval angels – on the basis that they act as heralds, and so tie into the theme of announcing. (more…)

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London in a heatwave (officially!) is the worst time and place in which to be. I’m craving cold, ice, and snow, with the warmth that comes from thick coats, hats, and scarves. I want to be iceskating in Victorian times. I want to be dressed like the woman below as I skate.

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… which is not to say that I am working through an Italian encyclopedia, as much as I enjoy reading such works, and as much as I need to start revising my Italian. It is simply an apt summary of my day.

I used to go to the National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery in London as much as humanly possible. I would breathe them in as though my life depended on it, and did get miserable if I wasn’t able to visit them for a few weeks. Until today, I had not visited either of them in over a year, so I was blissfully happy to spend a few hours in the National Gallery, in the Sainsbury Wing’s collection of paintings from 1250 to 1500. As a self-proclaimed medieval geek, I am considerably embarrassed to have to admit that it was my first prolonged visit to that department. I now dread a knock at my door to request that I relinquish my membership of the Guild of aforementioned Medieval Geeks. (more…)

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Frozen pond and snowy treesThe snow has been falling thicker and faster since yesterday; the windows of my room are completely white. It looks like it is going to lie for a while, so I can see another Christmas like last year on the cards at home at least. So here are my favourite winter poem and favourite winter song to mark this change in the weather: (more…)

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