our greatest blessings come to us by way of madness Phaedr. 244a

2011/11/01

Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal

White peacock. Pure alchemy.

Daring song, Becky Sharp. Especially since Tennyson won't write the words for a few decades from when you sing it. No matter. It's perfection, and she can't resist being irresistible. And isn't James Purefoy , standing in the doorway (of course), wonderful here. He fears he's losing her to that creepy Lord Steyne. (And I'm glad this modernized version allows its leads a bit of kindness. Thackeray has trouble with that.)

Now sleeps the crimson petal, now the white;
Nor waves the cypress in the palace walk;
Nor winks the gold fin in the porphyry font:
The firefly wakens: waken thou with me.

Now droops the milkwhite peacock like a ghost,
And like a ghost she glimmers on to me.

Now lies the Earth all Danae to the stars,
And all thy heart lies open unto me.

Now slides the silent meteor on, and leaves
A shining furrow, as thy thoughts in me.

Now folds the lily all her sweetness up,
And slips into the bosom of the lake:
So fold thyself, my dearest, thou, and slip
Into my bosom and be lost in me.

Tennyson, The Princess: A Medley

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Since we passed this way:

Memorize this: Abrams’s favorite erotic poem
By joe - Last updated: Tuesday, October 6, 2009 - 
Yesterday, at his epic talk on the fourth dimension of a poem, MH Abrams revealed the poem he says contains “the most explosively concentrated erotic charge in all poetry:” Tennyson’s “Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal.” I can’t recreate for those who missed the talk Abrams’s tender reading of the poem, but I will say that he is very sure that the “now” at the beginning of each stanza must be emphasized, iambic pentameter be damned.
Here’s the poem—get crackin’ on the memorizin’ so you can woo some sweetheart!
Now sleeps the crimson petal, now the white;
Nor waves the cypress in the palace walk;
Nor winks the gold fin in the porphyry font:
The firefly wakens: waken thou with me.
Now droops the milkwhite peacock like a ghost,
And like a ghost she glimmers on to me.
Now lies the Earth all Danae to the stars,
And all thy heart lies open unto me.
Now slides the silent meteor on, and leaves
A shining furrow, as thy thoughts in me.
Now folds the lily all her sweetness up,
And slips into the bosom of the lake:
So fold thyself, my dearest, thou, and slip
Into my bosom and be lost in me.

By miranda - Last updated: Monday, October 5, 2009 - 
From 4:00 to 5:30 the literary critic M.H. Abrams will be giving a talk “The Fourth Dimension of a Poem” in LC 101.  His former student Harold Bloom will introduce Mr. Abrams who is now 97 years old!  If you’re lucky, he’ll explain this graphic which is supposed to explain his classification of literary theories… or maybe it’s another dimension??