24 July 2017

larryhammer: topless woman lying prone with Sappho painted on her back, label: "Greek poetry is sexy" (greek poetry is sexy)
For Poetry Monday, jumping ahead to a post-Elizabethan sonneteer:


Sonnet VI from Sappho & Phaon, Mary Robinson

Is it to love, to fix the tender gaze,
    To hide the timid blush, and steal away;
    To shun the busy world, and waste the day
In some rude mountain’s solitary maze?
Is it to chant one name in ceaseless lays,
    To hear no words that other tongues can say,
    To watch the pale moon’s melancholy ray,
To chide in fondness, and in folly praise?
    Is it to pour th’ involuntary sigh,
To dream of bliss, and wake new pangs to prove;
    To talk, in fancy, with the speaking eye,
Then start with jealousy, and wildly rove;
    Is it to loath the light, and wish to die?
For these I feel,—and feel that they are love.


Mary Robinson was an English actress, royal mistress (her role as Perdita from A Winter's Tale gave the future George IV his early nickname of Florizel), and (after those two careers washed up) popular early Romantic poet. While there had been a few sonnets written in the decade before this was published, after being totally out of fashion for over a century, her Sappho and Phaon was the first sonnet cycle of the Romantic era, and a significant part of rehabilitating the form. If you like any of Wordsworth's sonnets, thank Robinson. If you like this sonnet, go read the rest: it's good.

---L.

Subject quote from "Who's Next?" Tom Lehrer.

October 2017

S M T W T F S
1 2 34 5 67
8 910 11 12 1314
15 161718 192021
22232425262728
293031    

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated 20 October 2017 12:31 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios