Tag Archives: Florence Harrison

A Writer’s Notebook – Christina Rossetti

 

birthday_cr.jpg

“My heart is like a singing bird.”

Painting by Florence Hamilton to illustrate:  A Birthday by Christina Rossetti.

I have used Florence Hamilton’s painting The Lady of Shalott for the background of this blog.

I have always loved Christina Rossetti’s poems. In my novel Castle of Dreams to be released in April of this year I referenced her poem: A Birthday.

Part of a scene in Castle of Dreams:

‘She opened the wrapping; inside was an anthology of Christina Rossetti’s poems. The antique book, bound in green crushed levant, mirror-polished, hand-tooled, was so beautiful she was almost afraid to touch it.

“My heart is like a singing bird

Whose nest is in a water’d shoot;

My heart is like an apple-tree

Whose boughs are bent with thickset fruit;

My heart is like a rainbow shell

That paddles in a halcyon sea;

My heart is gladder than all these

Because my love is come to me.”

It’s a secret for the moment who gives this beautiful book of poetry to Rose, one of my characters in Castle of Dreams, but after all it is a novel of secrets. There is another verse to the poem that is truly beautiful too that I didn’t use in this scene. I’ll  post it another day with a few verses from the very long poem: Goblin Market also by Christina Rossetti.

I have long had an interest in fairytales and throughout Castle of Dreams you will find an occassional reference to magic and the otherworldly.

Have a great day . . . good writing . . .

Elise x

 

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Filed under A Writer’s Notebook, Allen & Unwin, Elise McCune, What Elise Wrote

A Writer’s Notebook -The Lady of Shalott

I have changed the background of my blog. I enjoyed the old background for several years and decided it was time for an update. I hope you like the the new background. The details of where I found it:

A site called The Peacock Mirror which is owned and managed by Julia Kerr. It sells gently used books, vintage prints and other items. 

The image I downloaded, The Lady of Shalott, painted by Florence Harrison,  was free. Thanks Julia for having such a lovely image on your site, I’m glad I stumbled across it.

I won’t leave it so long to change the background next time. I enjoy the process of creating a richly coloured and imaged blog.

Best, Elise x

An extract from the poem:

The Lady of Shalott  
by Alfred Lord Tennyson

Part I

On either side the river lie
Long fields of barley and of rye,
That clothe the wold and meet the sky;
And thro’ the field the road runs by
To many-tower’d Camelot;
And up and down the people go,
Gazing where the lilies blow
Round an island there below,
The island of Shalott.

Willows whiten, aspens quiver,
Little breezes dusk and shiver
Thro’ the wave that runs for ever
By the island in the river
Flowing down to Camelot.
Four gray walls, and four gray towers,
Overlook a space of flowers,
And the silent isle imbowers
The Lady of Shalott.

By the margin, willow veil’d,
Slide the heavy barges trail’d
By slow horses; and unhail’d
The shallop flitteth silken-sail’d
Skimming down to Camelot:
But who hath seen her wave her hand?
Or at the casement seen her stand?
Or is she known in all the land,
The Lady of Shalott?

Only reapers, reaping early
In among the bearded barley,
Hear a song that echoes cheerly
From the river winding clearly,
Down to tower’d Camelot:
And by the moon the reaper weary,
Piling sheaves in uplands airy,
Listening, whispers ” ‘Tis the fairy
Lady of Shalott

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Filed under A Writer’s Notebook, What Elise Wrote