Week 5

The rain set early in tonight,
The sullen wind was soon awake,
It tore the elm-tops down for spite,
and did its worst to vex the lake:
I listened with heart fit to break.
When glided in Porphyria; straight
She shut the cold out and the storm,
And kneeled and made the cheerless grate
Blaze up, and all the cottage warm;
Which done, she rose, and from her form
Withdrew the dripping cloak and shawl,
And laid her soiled gloves by, untied
Her hat and let the damp hair fall,
And, last, she sat down by my side
And called me. When no voice replied,
She put my arm about her waist,
And made her smooth white shoulder bare,
And all her yellow hair displaced,
And, stooping, made my cheek lie there,
And spread, o’er all, her yellow hair,
Murmuring how she loved me—she
Too weak, for all her heart’s endeavor,
To set its struggling passion free
From pride, and vainer ties dissever,
And give herself to me forever.
But passion sometimes would prevail,
Nor could tonight’s gay feast restrain
A sudden thought of one so pale
For love of her, and all in vain:
So, she was come through wind and rain.
Be sure I looked up at her eyes
Happy and proud; at last I knew
Porphyria worshiped me: surprise
Made my heart swell, and still it grew
While I debated what to do.
That moment she was mine, mine, fair,
Perfectly pure and good: I found
A thing to do, and all her hair
In one long yellow string I wound
Three times her little throat around,
And strangled her. No pain felt she;
I am quite sure she felt no pain.
As a shut bud that holds a bee,
I warily oped her lids: again
Laughed the blue eyes without a stain.
And I untightened next the tress
The rain set early in tonight,
The sullen wind was soon awake,
It tore the elm-tops down for spite,
and did its worst to vex the lake:
I listened with heart fit to break.
When glided in Porphyria; straight
She shut the cold out and the storm,
And kneeled and made the cheerless grate
Blaze up, and all the cottage warm;
Which done, she rose, and from her form
Withdrew the dripping cloak and shawl,
And laid her soiled gloves by, untied
Her hat and let the damp hair fall,
And, last, she sat down by my side
And called me. When no voice replied,
She put my arm about her waist,
And made her smooth white shoulder bare,
And all her yellow hair displaced,
And, stooping, made my cheek lie there,
And spread, o’er all, her yellow hair,
Murmuring how she loved me—she
Too weak, for all her heart’s endeavor,
To set its struggling passion free
From pride, and vainer ties dissever,
And give herself to me forever.
But passion sometimes would prevail,
Nor could tonight’s gay feast restrain
A sudden thought of one so pale
For love of her, and all in vain:
So, she was come through wind and rain.
Be sure I looked up at her eyes
Happy and proud; at last I knew
Porphyria worshiped me: surprise
Made my heart swell, and still it grew
While I debated what to do.
That moment she was mine, mine, fair,
Perfectly pure and good: I found
A thing to do, and all her hair
In one long yellow string I wound
Three times her little throat around,
And strangled her. No pain felt she;
I am quite sure she felt no pain.
As a shut bud that holds a bee,
I warily oped her lids: again
Laughed the blue eyes without a stain.
And I untightened next the tress
The rain set early in tonight,
The sullen wind was soon awake,
It tore the elm-tops down for spite,
and did its worst to vex the lake:
I listened with heart fit to break.
When glided in Porphyria; straight
She shut the cold out and the storm,
And kneeled and made the cheerless grate
Blaze up, and all the cottage warm;
Which done, she rose, and from her form
Withdrew the dripping cloak and shawl,
And laid her soiled gloves by, untied
Her hat and let the damp hair fall,
And, last, she sat down by my side
And called me. When no voice replied,
She put my arm about her waist,
And made her smooth white shoulder bare,
And all her yellow hair displaced,
And, stooping, made my cheek lie there,
And spread, o’er all, her yellow hair,
Murmuring how she loved me—she
Too weak, for all her heart’s endeavor,
To set its struggling passion free
From pride, and vainer ties dissever,
And give herself to me forever.
But passion sometimes would prevail,
Nor could tonight’s gay feast restrain
A sudden thought of one so pale
For love of her, and all in vain:
So, she was come through wind and rain.
Be sure I looked up at her eyes
Happy and proud; at last I knew
Porphyria worshiped me: surprise
Made my heart swell, and still it grew
While I debated what to do.
That moment she was mine, mine, fair,
Perfectly pure and good: I found
A thing to do, and all her hair
In one long yellow string I wound
Three times her little throat around,
And strangled her. No pain felt she;
I am quite sure she felt no pain.
As a shut bud that holds a bee,
I warily oped her lids: again
Laughed the blue eyes without a stain.
And I untightened next the tress
Porphyria’s Lover
The rain set early in tonight,
The sullen wind was soon awake,
It tore the elm-tops down for spite,
and did its worst to vex the lake:
I listened with heart fit to break.
When glided in Porphyria; straight
She shut the cold out and the storm,
And kneeled and made the cheerless grate
Blaze up, and all the cottage warm;
Which done, she rose, and from her form
Withdrew the dripping cloak and shawl,
And laid her soiled gloves by, untied
Her hat and let the damp hair fall,
And, last, she sat down by my side
And called me. When no voice replied,
She put my arm about her waist,
And made her smooth white shoulder bare,
And all her yellow hair displaced,
And, stooping, made my cheek lie there,
And spread, o’er all, her yellow hair,
Murmuring how she loved me—she
Too weak, for all her heart’s endeavor,
To set its struggling passion free
From pride, and vainer ties dissever,
And give herself to me forever.
But passion sometimes would prevail,
Nor could tonight’s gay feast restrain
A sudden thought of one so pale
For love of her, and all in vain:
So, she was come through wind and rain.
Be sure I looked up at her eyes
Happy and proud; at last I knew
Porphyria worshiped me: surprise
Made my heart swell, and still it grew
While I debated what to do.
That moment she was mine, mine, fair,
Perfectly pure and good: I found
A thing to do, and all her hair
In one long yellow string I wound
Three times her little throat around,
And strangled her. No pain felt she;
I am quite sure she felt no pain.
As a shut bud that holds a bee,
I warily oped her lids: again
Laughed the blue eyes without a stain.
And I untightened next the tress
About her neck; her cheek once more
Blushed bright beneath my burning kiss:
I propped her head up as before
Only, this time my shoulder bore
Her head, which droops upon it still:
The smiling rosy little head,
So glad it has its utmost will,
That all it scorned at once is fled,
And I, its love, am gained instead!
Porphyria’s love: she guessed not how
Her darling one wish would be heard.
And thus we sit together now,
And all night long we have not stirred,
And yet God has not said a word!

This poem was beautiful and horribly disturbing all at the same time. The story is about a moment of indulgence in a secret attraction between the speaker and Porphyria. Porphyria comes into the speaker’s cottage during a storm and away from the public’s prying eyes, admits her love for the speaker. Not wanting the moment of her adoration to disappear, the speaker seizes this opportunity to strangle Porphyria to death, thus forever leaving her in their moment. The poem ends with the speaker waiting on God to respond to his actions.

I couldn’t help but picture Porphyria to be this gorgeous girl, who’s popularity and status must obviously be higher than that of the speaker. In love with the speaker but not willing to diminish her reputation, Porphyria shows up at his house and playful taunts him with her body. She tells him that she worships him, which in reality is a useless fact since after the moment passes- she’ll continue on with her life without the speaker. I feel like he strangled Porphyria not just to preserve their moment, but also out of frustration. This poem takes place well after the development of the two’s flirtation, the fact that the speaker isn’t surprised to see Porphyria means that she’s been there before. The fact that the speaker strangled her says a lot about Porphyria and their relationship. To strangle someone means that you not only have to exude a lot force to complete such a task but it also requires close intimacy to perform. Of all the ways the speaker could of murdered Porphyria he chose one that not only symbolizes rage but passion as well.

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Close Reading Week 3

Had we but world enough, and time,
Thus coyness, lady, were no crime.
We would sit down, and think which way
To walk, and pass our long love’s day.
Thou by the Indian Ganges side
Shoudst rubies find; I by the tide
Of Humber would complain. I would
Love you ten years before the flood,
And you should, if you please, refuse
Till the conversion of the Jews.
My vegetable love should grow
Vaster than empires and more slow;
An hundred years should go to praise
Thine eyes, and on thy forehead gaze;
Two hundred to adore each breast,
But thirty thousand to the rest;
An age at least to every part,
And the last age should show your heart.
For, lady, you deserve this state,
Nor would I love at lower rate.
But at my back I always hear
Time’s winged chariot hurrying near;
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast erternity.
Thy beauty shall no more be found;
Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound
My echoing song; then worms shall try
That long-perserved virginity,
And your quaint honor turn to dust,
And into ashes all my lust:
The grave’s a fine and private place,
But none, I think, do there embrace.
Now therefore, while the youthful hue
Sits on thy skin like morning dew,
And while thy willing soul transpires
At every pore with instant fires,
Now let us sport us while we may,
And now, like amorous birds of prey,
Rather at once our time devour
Than languish in his slow-chapped power.
Let us roll all our strength and all
Our sweetness up into one ball,
And tear our pleasures with rough strife
Through the iron gates of life:
Thus, though we cannot make our sun
Stand still, yet we will make him run.

I think what I liked best about this poem was that it had a very ‘live by the moment’ feel to it. The poem is about a young man in love with a young woman who turns down his advances (in a hard-to-get kind of way). The poem is all about how the man thinks that their youth is slipping away from them and that they down have the time to play coy and flirt with one another.

He tells her that time is racing towards them and before they know it, they’ll be dead. “…then worms shall try
That long-perserved virginity,
And your quaint honor turn to dust,
And into ashes all my lust:
The grave’s a fine and private place,
But none, I think, do there embrace.”

It’s interesting point. What good is honor when you’re dead? I think the young man in this poem makes a pretty convincing argument for love and living in the moment (and more specifically, while their still young.)

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Decomposition

Original
Upon Julia’s Breasts
Display thy breast, my Julia, there let me
Behold the circummortal purity;
Between whose glories, there my lips I’ll lay,
Ravished in that fair Via Lactea

Decomposed
Julia, show me your breast so that
I can gaze upon their eternal virtue.
And between them, I’ll lay kisses
Admiring the fairness, like a constellation.

Original
Upon Julia’s Clothes
Whenas in silks my Julia goes,
Then, then, methinks, how sweetly flows
That liquefaction of her clothes.

Next, when I cast mine eyes, and see
That brave vibration, each way free,
O, how that glittering taketh me!

Decomposed
When I see Julia is silk,
I fantasize that her
clothes melt away.

Then I would be able to see
each article falling away
until her beauty overwhelms me.

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Close Reading Week 1

Emily Dickinson

409 (303)

The Soul selects her own Society –
Then – shuts the Door –
To her divine Majority –
Present no more –

Unmoved – she notes the Chariots – pausing –
At her low Gate –
Unmoved – an Emperor be kneeling
Opon her Mat –

I’ve known her – from an ample nation –
Choose One –
Then – close the Valves of her attention –
Like Stone –

The one thing I new about Emily Dickinson before I read this poem was that she very rarely (if ever) uses proper punctuation, specifically periods. I love this fact about her because I feel like her unconventional way of delivering her poetry forces the reader into reading the way it was intended. “Unmoved – she notes the Chariots – pausing -” You can’t help but pause ever time a dash is used which really helps this poem accomplish the low key vibe I think it was meant to have.

I took that the poem is about making a decision. I immediately assumed that the choice the soul must make is choosing a soulmate but I could be wrong about this. In the beginning after the soul chooses her society, she must turn away (or shut the door) to all of her other options and never look back.

The soul is then tempted by an Emperor, asking her hand in marriage at the foot of her door. What I think the last stanza could be saying is that that spark of temptation, Dickinson recognizes as youth’s struggle to make a wise decision. But as Dickinson insists, there can on be one soulmate, and the rest you must cut yourself off from entirely.

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