♦Welcome to another edition of the Open Book Blog Hop!♦
What is your Favorite Poem?
Welcome back to another edition of the Open Book Blog Hop! If you’re new to the series, the authors included are grateful for your reads and appreciate, even more so, when you share our writings with your friends. If you’re new to the series, welcome aboard. The authors engage and impress weekly. Be prepared to become a regular reader.
Poetry has my utmost respect. Writing it, in my estimation, is the most difficult form you will ever attempt. The rules are flexible, but there are many. Some poets don’t follow them at all and are quite successful. Yet, most who go outside the box don’t end up achieving success. There is something more than formula and daring that makes poetry work.
In my undergraduate studies, I was exposed to a great deal of poetry: Beowulf, Milton, Bronte, Poe and so on. My favorite of those classes was the Romances. This is nothing like romance novels. These are the truly great and epic reads from the romantic period, when romance meant the glory of emotion, individualism, the natural world and the medieval over classical. Oddly enough, I love the classical as well. Why not enjoy genres that rival each other, for between them you find new possibilities.
My favorite poem is a bridge between these two. Using classical figures, a romantic period writer weaves a tale about the rescue of the human soul by Love. Mary Tighe is probably not a poet you’ve heard of. She was born in Ireland and lived from 1772-1810. You may, however, be familiar with the poem Psyche. I have only an excerpt from my old class text book, English Romantic Writers, 2nd edition (Perkins). You can pick it up cheap now, but it was very costly back in the 1990s. I held onto it for this reason, but more so because of all the beautiful writing contained inside. Blake and Byron included.
Here is a taste of the poem by Mary Tighe. It’s an epic poem, so it is many pages long. This section is the first, called The Argument, and will give you the set up for the amazing journey the rest of the poem takes you on.
Let not the rugged brow the rhymes accuse,
Which speak of gentle knights and ladies fair,
Nor scorn the lighter labours of the muse,
Who yet, for cruel battles would not dare
The low-strung chords of her weak lyre prepare;
But loves to court repose in slumbery lay,
To tell of goodly bowers and gardens rare,
Of gentle blandishments and amorous play,
And all the lore of love, in courtly verse essay.
And ye, whose gentle hearts in thraldom held
The power of mighty Love already own,
When you the pains and dangers have beheld,
Which erst your lord hath for his Psyche known,
For all your sorrows this may well atone,
That he you serve the same hath suffered;
And sure, your fond applause the tale will crown
In which your own distress is pictured,
And all that weary way which you yourselves must tread.
Most sweet would to my soul the hope appear,
That sorrow in my verse a charm might find,
To smooth the brow long bent with bitter cheer,
Some short distraction to the joyless mind
Which grief, with heavy chain, hath fast confined
To sad remembrance of its happier state;
For to myself I ask no boon more kind
Than power another’s woes to mitigate,
And that soft soothing art which anguish can abate.
And thou, sweet sprite, whose sway doth far extend,
Smile on the mean historian of thy fame!
My heart in each distress and fear befriend,
Nor ever let it feel a fiercer flame
Than innocence may cherish free from blame,
And hope may nurse, and sympathy may own;
For, as thy rights I never would disclaim,
But true allegiance offered to thy throne,
So may I love but one, by one beloved alone.
That anxious torture may I never feel,
Which, doubtful, watches o’er a wandering heart.
Oh! who that bitter torment can reveal,
Or tell the pining anguish of that smart!
In those affections may I ne’er have part,
Which easily transferred can learn to rove:
No, dearest Cupid! when I feel thy dart,
For thy sweet Psyche’s sake may no false love
The tenderness I prize lightly from me remove!
Many thanks to the New Mexico State University for housing an online copy for us to read at NMSU.edu. Please do read the rest. You’ll be glad that you did.
Now, let us venture over to the other author pages to see what poems they’ve selected, and get a little deeper into what moves them…
An InLinkz Link-up
get the InLinkz code