Woo-hoo! Poems! Short, powerful, tell a story! No idea if any of you read my three recs, but that’s okay, I am happy just to be able to get them out there so that someday you may read them when you are feeling ballad-y!
This one is fascinating! Loads of interpretations out there. One theory is that it is about “fallen women”, women who taste the forbidden fruit and then are redeemed by the love of other women. Rossetti herself was volunteering at a home for “fallen women” at the time and believed in, and had seen, the way they could be redeemed.
With that interpretation, what does it mean to have the other sister resist all temptation? Is it that only a purely pure woman can save a broken woman? And what is with the second taste of the juice almost killing but then saving her? That, I don’t get AT ALL. Unless it is some sort of weird vaccine for sexually transmitted diseases metaphor?
And then there is the Lesbian interpretation. Two ways to read that. One is, straight up Lesbians. They live together, they love each other, one of them is hurt, the other sacrifices herself, both are saved, HAPPY ENDING. The other would tie into the whole saving theory. Stick with me here! What if, having sex with a man almost kills you, but then having sex with a woman saves you?
There’s also just the straight up fairy tale literal version. I like that one. Two sisters doin’ it for themselves.
Total patriotic piffle, don’t care! I like the idea of the two teenage siblings knowing what they have to do without needing words. And I like the idea of feeling the spirit of those before you when you are doing something difficult. Plus, “Dunkirk” is just an amazing moment in history even if you don’t like the British.
This was published in 1906 and voted the 15th most popular poem in Britain in 1995. Isn’t that interesting? Well, it’s interesting to me!!!! It has such a clear revolutionary message, the forces of order and government are nasty killers who destroy heartlessly and sadistically. We are rooting for the rebels, the forces of chaos.
Also interesting, the young lovers we are rooting for are SO STUPID!!!! So, our only choices in this world are to be evil and sadistic, or to be so dumb we literally die from it. I could think of so many better options for them!!! Like, what if she just did nothing and then hired him a good lawyer after he was arrested?
Of the 3 poems, this is also the one that I most want to turn into a movie! Evil Britishers, brave lover of the rebel, etc. etc. Right? Only in my version, this would just be the interval. He would think she died but actually she miraculously survived. And he also miraculously survived. She is slowly coming back to health and considering marriage to an inspiring rebel leader and visionary. He has started a new life in hiding. And then, like, Casablanca I think? She and her fiance show up at the hero’s nightclub that is an underground meeting place also, and then they learn they are each alive, and so on and so on.
Which poem did you like best?
Which one do you want to be a movie?
Are Lizzy and Laura Lesbians?