Saturday, February 5, 2011

Art & Verse Saturday - Romance

Bloggers Note: As an alternative to all current events, all the time, I am going to begin doing a series of posts on Saturdays aimed at the arts and philosophy. I do hope you find them enjoyable. Most of the posts will be thematic, and since Valentine's Day falls in February, the themes for the month will be romance, courtship, and eroticism. And with that preamble, here is the inaugural Saturday post:


Art: Lovers In A Wood
1873, John Grimshaw

Grimshaw, who lived in 19th century Britain, is one of the few landscape artists whose paintings invariably give the ambiance of romance. You can find much of his work here.

Good romance poems distill passion and desire into a few well chosen words. Part of their allure, for me at least, is that they also have practical value. If you can memorize the lines from some good romantic poetry and then trot them out at just the right moment, your chance of bedding down the object of your desire increases significantly. The number of good romantic poems are near infinite. Two of my favorites are from the medieval Italian poet, Dante Alligheri - a poet more associated with his guide map to hell than to the bedroom - and from Lord Byron, one of the great poets of the Romantic era:

From La Vita Nuova

In that book which is
My memory . . .
On the first page
That is the chapter when
I first met you
Appear the words . . .
Here begins a new life

- Dante, 1293

She walks in beauty

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o'er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling place.

And on that cheek, and o'er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!

- Lord Byron

1 comment:

Ex-Dissident said...

Very nice post. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Grimshaw.