Monday, April 03, 2006

Poetry Monday

April's poetry inspiration comes from the very satirical classic The Canterbury Tales

My first selection for this month, although connected to Chaucer's humorous work, can really only be called witty. Really it is a game of wits between a hormonal teenage boy and a sensible, however, immature and naive 13 year old girl. It is from Romeo and Juliet and is one of my favorite passages from the play. It does relate to The Canterbury Tales in the sense that Romeo claims to seek Juliet, as a pilgrim does a saint, just as the pilgrims of Chaucer's tale are on the way to see the grave of Thomas Beckett.

ROMEO:
[To JULIET] If I profane with my unworthiest hand
This holy shrine, the gentle fine is this:
My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand
To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss.

JULIET:

Good pilgrim, you do wrong your hand too much,
Which mannerly devotion shows in this;
For saints have hands that pilgrims' hands do touch,
And palm to palm is holy palmers' kiss.

ROMEO:

Have not saints lips, and holy palmers too?

JULIET:

Ay, pilgrim, lips that they must use in prayer.

ROMEO:

O, then, dear saint, let lips do what hands do;
They pray, grant thou, lest faith turn to despair.

JULIET:

Saints do not move, though grant for prayers' sake.

ROMEO:

Then move not, while my prayer's effect I take

I am also now part of a blog group called Crafted Poetry. Amanda came up with this idea and I am very excited! We are reading Christina Rosetti's "The Goblin Market", discussing it, and then crafting something inspired by the poem. I plan to make a purse out of some reproduction fabric from the Victorian period that I have in my fabric stash. The bag will include fruit as an element in its design, to signify the f ruit that tempts the Victorian ladies of the poem as the goblins are calling out to them.

I will leave you a short passage from "The Goblin Market" as well as a great Pre-Raphaelite painting of Romeo and Juliet.

"Come buy," call the goblins
Hobbling down the glen.
"O! cried Lizzie, Laura, Laura,
You should not peep at goblin men."

Romeo and Juliet by Pre-Raphael artist Frank Dick

6 comments:

Stephanie said...

You should check out Geoffrey Chaucer Hath a Blog on blogspot. It's a hoot.

ttbookjunkie said...

I love Canterbury Tales! I have not read Chaucer in ages, I will have to pick up some soon.

Thanks for sharing...
Amanda :)

Baa Bonny Belle said...

Jenni, I enjoyed the passage of Romeo and Juliet. As I read it, I realized, men have not changed over the ages, only in dress/appearance, but not their slick, sales-like pickup lines...at least, my interpetation of it. Then again, I'm loaded up on cold medicine...LOL. Best wishes to you...

Paula said...

I really enjoyed that Poem Jenni! I have seen it before but I am sure I have not read it till now.
What a beautiful painting of Romeo and Juliet!!!

Carrie K said...

I'm with Stephanie, Geoffry Chaucer Hath A Blogge is pretty funny. Plus, T-shirts! I bought a couple for my brother and sister in law (the T-shirt link is at the top of his blogge)

Nice poem, beautiful picture. Have you seen the art meme going around?

Ann said...

Great choice! I really enjoyed readinghtat again. It's been so long since I read any Shakespeare. I love his humor. British humor was great even then!
(I also enjoyed Bonny Belle's comment! ;) )