#PocketPoem 2015 – DJ’s pick

When Ruth told me about Poem in your Pocket day, I knew I wanted to share the brother /sister duo Gabrielle Dante and Christina Rossetti, especially since my current focus is on visualization of words.  My first pick was a combination of Christina’s “Goblin Market” with the illustration her brother provided for the cover.

Rossetti-golden_head

Unfortunately, “Goblin Market” is sort of epic so  printing it on a small handout didn’t seem like the best option.  If you have some time, go read through her poem; it tells a great story of two sisters and is a fun read.

I still wanted to keep my focus on art tied to words so when I found a sketch with pen and sepia by Gabrielle of La Belle Dame sans Merci”, I knew I’d found a winner.  Below is Rossetti’s sketch followed by John Keat’s poem.

La Belle Dame sans Merci

I met a lady in the meads,
Full beautiful—a faery’s child,
Her hair was long, her foot was light,
And her eyes were wild.

I made a garland for her head,
And bracelets too, and fragrant zone;
She looked at me as she did love,
And made sweet moan.

I set her on my pacing steed,
And nothing else saw all day long,
For sidelong would she bend, and sing
A faery’s song.

She found me roots of relish sweet,
And honey wild, and manna-dew,
And sure in language strange she said—
“I love thee true.”

She took me to her elfin grot,
And there she wept and sighed full sore,
And there I shut her wild wild eyes
With kisses four.

And there she lullèd me asleep,
And there I dreamed—Ah! woe betide!—
The latest dream I ever dreamt
On the cold hill side.

I saw pale kings and princes too,
Pale warriors, death-pale were they all;
They cried—“La Belle Dame sans Merci
Thee hath in thrall!”

I saw their starved lips in the gloam,
With horrid warning gapèd wide,
And I awoke and found me here,
On the cold hill’s side.

And this is why I sojourn here,
Alone and palely loitering,
Though the sedge is withered from the lake,
And no birds sing.

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