Read: Antony & Cleopatra
Watched: Antony & Cleopatra live by the RSC at the Swan, with Patrick Stewart and Harriet Walter. Breathtaking!
Listened to: Schubert's String Quintet in C Major, D. 956
Here’s an ekphrastic poem to follow the post on Turner & the Tate.
Comments & Critique are welcome. Enjoy!
On John William Waterhouse’s “Lady of Shalott” paintings
She stands in staring fantasy and wrings her hands,
knotting and weaving colored noises in silence.
Twisted threads paint scenes in her mind
where she warps their lost nights in tight tapestry.
A binding chill dims her half-sick sight
in spite of summer windows, noonday walls.
Lovely devourer, locked in the solitude
of her hollow desire. Bruises darken somewhere
inside her luminous skin, where she clings
to sweet self-forged chains and refuses
the searching thought of outdoor light. Lonely,
fingers caught in her loom, she gazes inward.
Three streaks of candlelight draw her down
into dreaming, seeing him imprisoned there,
while she sits spinning albas and elegies in red
through black-warped daydreams on her loom.
No farewell for these memories, these three
conjured nights deep in her lurid fantasy.
The tapered flames double again and again
in her stare, a bronze mirror, the lake…
a breastplate, shield, and sword.
Dull as standing water, drifting into night,
the tall flames swim in her shrouded sight
like flashing lances raised by brave knights
as they die, like her strands of hair bound
by golden bands, like her pale arms hung
with heavy cloth. She sees and does not see,
wishing scenes in waking sleep.
At last in her self-wrought dream,
tapestries complete, she piled weavings into the prow,
stood straight among reeds, followed along the river,
still longing. When the candles reflected
off turrets, battlements, silver towers,
and armor, she closed her eyes.