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    Poem of the day: April 21st.

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    Tiresias
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    Poem of the day: April 21st.

    Post  Tiresias on Sun Apr 22, 2012 2:24 am

    Robert Browning, Porphyria's Lover

    The rain set early in to-night,
    The sullen wind was soon awake,
    It tore the elm-tops down for spite,
    And did its worst to vex the lake:
    I listened with heart fit to break.
    When glided in Porphyria; straight
    She shut the cold out and the storm,
    And kneeled and made the cheerless grate
    Blaze up, and all the cottage warm;
    Which done, she rose, and from her form 10
    Withdrew the dripping cloak and shawl,
    And laid her soiled gloves by, untied
    Her hat and let the damp hair fall,
    And, last, she sat down by my side
    And called me. When no voice replied,
    She put my arm about her waist,
    And made her smooth white shoulder bare,
    And all her yellow hair displaced,
    And, stooping, made my cheek lie there,

    And spread, o'er all, her yellow hair, 20
    Murmuring how she loved me--she
    Too weak, for all her heart's endeavour,
    To set its struggling passion free
    From pride, and vainer ties dissever,
    And give herself to me for ever.
    But passion sometimes would prevail,
    Nor could to-night's gay feast restrain
    A sudden thought of one so pale
    For love of her, and all in vain:
    So, she was come through wind and rain. 30

    Be sure I looked up at her eyes
    Happy and proud; at last I knew
    Porphyria worshipped me; surprise
    Made my heart swell, and still it grew
    While I debated what to do.
    That moment she was mine, mine, fair,
    Perfectly pure and good: I found
    A thing to do, and all her hair
    In one long yellow string I wound
    Three times her little throat around, 40

    And strangled her. No pain felt she;
    I am quite sure she felt no pain.
    As a shut bud that holds a bee,
    I warily oped her lids: again
    Laughed the blue eyes without a stain.
    And I untightened next the tress
    About her neck; her cheek once more
    Blushed bright beneath my burning kiss:
    I propped her head up as before,

    Only, this time my shoulder bore 50
    Her head, which droops upon it still:
    The smiling rosy little head,
    So glad it has its utmost will,
    That all it scorned at once is fled,
    And I, its love, am gained instead!
    Porphyria's love: she guessed not how
    Her darling one wish would be heard.
    And thus we sit together now,
    And all night long we have not stirred,
    And yet God has not said a word!
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    Tamburlaine

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    Re: Poem of the day: April 21st.

    Post  Tamburlaine on Sun Apr 22, 2012 2:51 am

    Wrote about Browning's monologues for my English Lit coursework this year. This is a fine poem indeed. I've read one critic, though, who argues that this is actually a straight-up account of two lovers meeting up; according to this guy, the stuff where it suggests that the guy is killing her is just amorous playfulness. He comes up with a load of crazy, scarcely-supported points to make about various lines and that's his conclusion: the nutter.
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    Tiresias
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    Re: Poem of the day: April 21st.

    Post  Tiresias on Sun Apr 22, 2012 2:59 am

    Yeah, I've worked through the critical responses to this poem and some of them really are (I suppose appropriately) completely mad. I think I decided to abandon the undertaking when I started reading vampire mythology.

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