Wednesday 26 September 2012

Poems I love (3)

Well it isn't quite Waterhouse
There are many reasons that I love 'The Lady of Shalott' by Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

I first met it at a tender age watching the TV adaptation of 'Anne of Green Gables' (it was a different Tennyson poem in the book). Back at that age my friends and I loved the book and the story in the poem. 

Starting at a young age meant I learnt quite a lot of it by heart.

The next time I met the poem was the drama festival at school. We'd fallen behind in preparations and alighted on a dramatic reading of the poem somewhat by chance. Again though the time spent on the tale meant that I learnt pretty much the whole poem. At 19 stanzas it's quite a lot to remember - you can find the whole poem here.

I love the motion and the rhythm of the poem; as well as the beautiful story; beginning from
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
Through to;
She left the web, she left the loom;
She made three paces thro' the room,
Out flew the web and floated wide;
The mirror crack'd from side to side; 
And finally
He said, "She has a lovely face;
God in his mercy lend her grace,
The Lady of Shalott".