Wednesday, April 20, 2011

National Poetry Month: The Lady of Shalott

The Lady of Shalott - John William Waterhouse

Hey! It's National Poetry Month! And guess what? I love poetry.

Of course you wouldn't guess this based on the poems from my 7th grade poetry folder which I occasionally share (like this little gem). And if I were to share the dreadful poems I currently write, you DEFINITELY would not guess that I love poetry. I butcher the art form in embarrassing ways.

My mom read Romantic and Victorian poetry aloud to me when I was young, and for a long time in middle school, I read poetry more than anything - especially heartbreaking love poems and In Memoriams. Sadness and suffering appealed to me very, very much when I was an angsty thirteen-year-old with horrendous hair and no fashion sense to speak of. Now that I'm a mom, I make sure to read tons of poetry to my girls, and wouldn't you know it, Gracie's favorites are the ones that have twisted and sad endings. Like mama, like daughter.

My favorite poem, if you haven't figured it out yet, is The Lady of Shalott by Tennyson. It's too long for me to post here, so I'll just go ahead and leave you with this:

At the age of seven, I was pretty darned positive that Gilbert Blythe was going to one day rescue me from drowning in a super romantic way. Admit it, folks - you had the very same dream.

I like my artwork as I like my poetry - filled with romance, sadness or suffering (bonus when it's all three!) - so it's probably no surprise that my favorite painting is The Lady of Shalott by Waterhouse.

When Will and I had been dating for about a month, he said, "I have a surprise for you," and proceeded to drag me around London (yes, really drag. I was wearing super cute boots that day, but they KILLED my feet). When we reached the Tate Britain, I thought, "Art gallery? I have a date at an ART GALLERY?"


But it gets better. You see, I had told Will at one point in the four weeks we'd been dating that The Lady of Shalott was my favorite painting. Will knew it was in London. I did not. When he pulled me in front of the ginormous painting I think I stared at it for close to a hundred years. In case you don't know this, The Lady of Shalott is even more incredible in person. I probably cried. And if I cried, Will laughed, because he thinks my cry is the funniest thing he's ever seen. (It's too dramatic to even look real, he says)

The way to this girl's heart is depressing artwork and poetry, that's for sure. And Will won my heart yet again when he called a cab for the trip home from the Tate (seriously, those boots were killer).

Happy National Poetry Month, folks!

And now a question for you - What's your favorite poem?



Lauren said...

Hey Marisa!

I had no idea it was poetry month. Thank you! By coincidence I posted a poem on my blog; today to mark the anniversary of the oil spill. Great post - pretty poem and picture.

mshatch said...

that's one of my favorite poems, too. boy, you sure lucked out with Will. He's what they call a 'keeper' here in Maine - a fish you don't throw back :)

Oh Mandie said...

yay more poetry love!! I didn't know it was National Poetry month ... now I'm going to have to go and bust out some of my old poetry books and celebrate :)

My favorite poem is Supermarket in California by Allen Ginsberg

Cole's Corner said...

I love that poem, I love Anne, I love Gilbert Blythe, I love poetry....
my favorite ever is Annabel Lee.

What a cute story.

Kathy said...

Have you read Meg Cabot's Avalon High? (I'm willing to bet good money that you have but if you haven't, you should!)

I love the poem, too. Margaret Atwood has always been one of my favorites, though.

Kristi said...

I love that poem and painting...and Anne of Green Gables. I feel like it would be appropriate to share here that I have been practicing two phrases on my monogramming machine to be used for t-shirts this summer: "Call me Cordelia" and "Team Gilbert."

My favorite poem is "From Blossoms" by LiYoung Lee. I also love "Love That Boy" by Walter Dean Myers. :)

Laura Pauling said...

My daughter memorized a big chunk of the Lady of Shalot after watching Anne! She loved it!

AlyGatr said...

I started reading poetry to Amelia when she was two. For a while there she refused to go to bed without reading her favorite poems. I am a huge fan of the English Romantics...Keats and Shelley. I'm also an enormous fan of Rainer Maria Rilke. I have one of his poems I'm dying to post but I need a good image to go with it :)

I forgive you for not going too epic, but I do love the backstory!

Melissa said...

Whenever I read this poem, I think of Anne. Oh, and Gilbert . . . swoon!

Kathleen Leone said...

Oh, so so hard to choose! It would probably have to be the first poem I learned by heart when I was very little (because it was my first, and you never forget your first)!

And at the moment the author's name escapes me, so, sorry most truly to said author... "Ah, Love... Could you and I, With Him conspire, To grasp this sorry scheme, Of things entire, Would we not shatter it to bits, And then, Remold it nearer to the Heart's desire..."

P.S. I love Anne of Green Gables too! Both the books and movies! :o) I still want to marry Gilbert Blythe when I "grow up"! LOL!

Marisa Hopkins said...

You guys, I'm loving this. I'm going to make sure I look up every one of your favorite poems/poets!!

Meeling said...

Love this post!!

Had no idea it was National Poetry!

Being a red head I was in LOVE with Anne...more like I kinda thought I was Anne...sad but those Gilbert fantasies...had em!! ;-)

Gosh a favorite poem...I honestly don't know if I have a favorite...though tragic love poems always rank high. :-)

Beka said...

i love gilbert blythe.
still do.
and their quirky little relationship, his and anne's.
now there's a man i could fall for.

i love that part in anne!
trout fishing, wasn't it? something like that? haha!
now i want to watch that movie again. soon. :)

jamberry_song said...

This is a beautiful post. My heart goes out to your younger self, standing in front of a PreRaphaelite painting with tears in your eyes and someone who loves you smiling beside you. :)

jamberry_song said...

Oh... ah, and Walt Whitman. Yes. All the way. :)

ali said...

Marisa! I love it here! What a bright and happy place! AND I have a huge print of THE LADY OF SHALOTT hanging in my living room!

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