Greetings, Poetry Lovers! (First, that crazy looking column above really is a series of pictures; click to open in a new window and click to view at a size you can see. ;0) The Authors Guild websites don't yet offer the option for several pictures interspersed in a blog post.)
Last Friday, after my author school visit in Georgia, my third-grade-teacher-daughter Morgan and I took off for a Mama-Daughter Downton weekend at Biltmore House in Asheville. Though we had to drive through snow to get there ("It's Narnia" Morgan said...), we arrived to a beautiful cozy room at the hotel on the estate, and then we blissfully hopped on and off shuttles on Saturday to see the exhibits. We were celebrating our January birthdays a little late, splurging to stay on the estate at the end of the winter rates, and before the Downton exhibits exit in early April.
There's some Downton history here. Morgan's wedding in 2016 definitely had some Downton-ish flair (I put up a few pix on my art blog afterwards here), after Morgan and I fell in love with the TV series and would text about it long-distance. When the (fantastic!) movie came out this past fall, I drove the 10-to-12-hour round trip just to see it with her in north Georgia. I bought us cheap, fun little fascinator hats and she was a good sport to wear hers to the movie!
For Morgan's actual birthday a few weeks ago, I discovered that the costume jewelry company 1928 had a Downton Abbey line (HOW did I not know that?) and I had Jeff help me pick out a long beaded necklace to have sent to her. Then, last weekend, I took another little box from said jewelry ("jewellery") line - I had bought us matching earrings! (No, we didn't actually both wear them at the same time. ;0) )
The exhibit at Deerpark at Biltmore Estate was delightful. Each main character had his or her own display with some background story, costume items in some cases, and 'artifacts' such as letters. There was an interactive quiz you could take at computer kiosks to apply for a job at Downton - Morgan and I were both suited to be a cook, like Mrs. Patmore! So much for a life of leisure.
The costume exhibit at Antler Village was much smaller, but oh-so-delicious, with actual apparel worn by the actors, men and women. Oh, the beaded dresses.... Sigh. And the jewelry!! Swoon, swoon, swoon.
Okay, this IS Poetry Friday after all, and I've not shared any poetry yet. In keeping with the general time period, I turned to one of my glorious December Poetry Swap gifts from Linda Baie. She had given me a copy of THE BEST POEMS of 1930. (I haven't "recycled" it yet into Etsy items, but I have tagged some pages... ;0) )
The Downton Abbey TV series takes place from 1912 through 1925. The movie's setting was in 1927. But I figured the poetry in this book was close enough to share some of the 1920s sensibilities. I tried to find a couple of poems that might resonate for diehard Downton fans.
The book, published by Harcourt Brace & Co. with poems selected by Thomas Moult, and "decorations" by Elizabeth Montgomery, opens with this poem:
A Prologue for Poems
by John A. Holmes
As music builds a bright impermanent tower
High in the sunlight, wild with birds
And banners, so this chosen hour
Will take you
Briefly from the world.
Until the windy flags are furled,
the last page turned, the music ended,
Wander, well attended
Through the gate and climb the stairs.
At the top look down, look down, and see
My broad enchanted land
Where south is love, and death lies north,
And oceans on either hand.
And here's a short poem from within:
Being but Men
by Monk Gibbon
Being but men, not gods, we'll need take pride
In all that gives the lie to this mean state;
All moments borne beyond the common tide,
All littleness of heart made briefly great;
All beauty vouched with sudden indrawn breath,
A word, a turn of head, a lovely look,
A gesture grave, a phrase defying death,
Or a chance sentence in an unsought book.
I hope our little Downton-y Diversion has brought a smile. The wonderful Rebecca at Sloth Reads has the Roundup this week - and volcanoes and eggs! Enjoy...