Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Resolute and Reluctant Without Speech

An Echo from Willowwood
by Christina Rossetti

"O ye, all ye that walk in Willowwood." (D.G. Rossetti)

Two gazed into a pool, he gazed and she,
Not hand in hand, yet heart in heart, I think,
Pale and reluctant on the water's brink,
As on the brink of parting which must be.
Each eyed the other's aspect, she and he,
Each felt one hungering heart leap up and sink,
Each tasted bitterness which both must drink,
There on the brink of life's dividing sea.
Lilies upon the surface, deep below
Two wistful faces craving each for each,
Resolute and reluctant without speech: —
A sudden ripple made the faces flow
One moment joined, to vanish out of reach:
So those hearts joined, and ah! were parted so.


  1. Itinérante1:29 AM

    Christina Rossetti is my sister's favourite poet (we both started learning English together but she is way smarter!)
    This poem is so beautiful but sadly I could not find it recited, it is doomed to be read with my silly accented pronunciation... Anyway, thank you Brandon for all the cool stuff you put even if you are busy!

  2. branemrys2:09 AM

    Christina Rossetti is one of my favorite poets -- certainly my favorite when it comes to lyric poetry.

  3. Itinérante2:51 AM

    That is true she is wonderful at expressing feelings. We did a paper comparing her and Dickinson (just for ourselves) it was really interesting to see their poems back to back! And!! then we did an art collage (or another piece of uselessness) for each!
    I like them both very much...
    (I hope you will not ban me from commenting... I keep on being random/off topic and add pictures! but the post are just so cool!)

  4. branemrys7:52 AM

    Even if I had reason to ban you, which I don't, the only person I've ever banned from the blog was attacking other commenters!

    I think collages and similar projects are actually good ways to compare and contrast poets, philosophers, and the like.

  5. Enbrethiliel3:39 AM


    I wonder what the story behind their parting is, if it "must be" and yet is comparable to something as gentle as a ripple--albeit a sudden one.

  6. Enbrethiliel3:41 AM


    I'm not very familiar with Rossetti, but I read Emily Dickinson over and over as a girl! I wasn't very visual, though, so I never made a collage.

    One poem I really liked was "Nature rarer uses yellow", and it was the reason I asked, during a time when I had to be hospitalised, that any flowers sent to my room be yellow. Although I don't actually like the colour itself! =P

  7. Itinérante7:29 AM

    Oh! I hope that was a long time ago and that you recovered so well!
    I would send you some gardenia or jasmine because they smell so nice =) but they are white =/


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