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Emily Brontë’s Poetry

on May 30th, 2017 by admin

I am a big fan of the Brontë sisters novels.  However I had no idea Emily Brontë wrote poetry.  It wasn’t until after watching an excellent PBS movie about the sisters called To Walk Invisible that I was introduced to her poetry.  I was able to find an old edition of her poems at my local library.  These poems do not disappoint.  Emily based her poems on a mythical world she created called Gondal.  Here is a sample of Song by J. Brenzaida to G.S. or Love’s Farewell:

I knew not ’twas so dire a crime

To say the word, Adieu;

But this shall be the only time

My slighted heart shall sue.

 

The wild moorside, the winter morn,

The gnarled and ancient tree—

If in your breast they waken scorn,

Shall wake the same in me.

 

I can forget black eyes and brows,

And lips of rosy charm,

If you forget the sacred vows

Those faithless lips could form.

 

If hard commands can tame your love,

Or prison walls can hold,

I would not wish to grieve above

A thing so false and cold.

 

And there are bosoms bound to mine

With links both tried and strong;

And there are eyes whose lightning shine

Has warmed and blessed me long:

 

Those eyes shall make my only day,

Shall set my spirit free,

And chase the foolish thoughts away

That mourn your memory!

To call the Brontë sisters ordinary would be extremely unfair.  Yet their lives were incredibly conventional, and to a certain extent limited.  Life in the early to mid-19th century England did not offer a lot opportunities for these sisters.  As daughters of a vicar(Anglican minister), their prospects for marriage were slim to none.  Career wise their only option was to become school teachers, which all three were for a time.

Finding themselves back home to take care of their father and wayward brother, this offered them a chance to create their literary masterpieces that would contribute to the canon of English literature.

After reading Emily Brontë‘s  poems I decided to look for other English poets.  I’m reading the works of Dylan Thomas.  And I’ve been reading medieval poet Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales.  For the novice poetry reader I would recommend reading Chaucer much later because it is written in Old English which is quite difficult.  To get your feet wet, try reading Thomas, Hemingway, Langston Hughes, even some Maya Angelou.  Happy poetic reading.

Bookish Babe

Tags: , , , | Posted in Autobiography, Fiction

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