Greetings, Poetry (& Royal Wedding!) Lovers -
For those of you on my side of the world, is your alarm set? My daughter Morgan will rise early in Georgia Saturday morning and I'll do the same here in South Carolina so we can catch the Royal Wedding in Real Time (& text back and forth, I'm sure)! Truth be told, while we're delighted for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, we really just want to see Princess Charlotte as an attendant.
The world needs a good ol' happy ritual, and it certainly needs more love. And there's an American in this wedding… so, it's kind of our patriotic duty to tune in, right? ;0)
I've caught bits of the PBS "Royal Wedding Watch" specials this week. I always love it when historian Lucy Worsley shows up. In the first episode, she popped in to explain how Queen Victoria established so many wedding traditions we still enjoy, wearing white dresses among them. When the eldest daughter of Victoria and Prince Albert, "Vicky," was wed, she carried some myrtle in her bouquet, from a plant grown from a spray that had been a gift from Albert's grandmother to the queen. The story goes that sprigs from that very same planting have been used in royal bouquets ever since! I've come across some accounts calling this last part a myth, but then many others still support it, so I'm going to enjoy the historical and botanical connection.
Hunting for a myrtle-infused poem to share today, I found "Flower of Love" by Oscar Wilde. You remember Oscar (1854-1900), the flamboyant writer who was born in Dublin and pursued his literary career in London? From his lively mind and fraught life he gave us many wonderful quotes, including:
I was working on the proof of one of my poems all the morning, and took out a comma. In the afternoon I put it back again.
- Oscar Wilde
Here are the first few and last few stanzas from his "Flower" poem.
Flower of Love
Sweet, I blame you not, for mine the fault
was, had I not been made of common clay
I had climbed the higher heights unclimbed
yet, seen the fuller air, the larger day.
From the wildness of my wasted passion I had
struck a better, clearer song,
Lit some lighter light of freer freedom, battled
with some Hydra-headed wrong.
Had my lips been smitten into music by the
kisses that but made them bleed,
You had walked with Bice and the angels on
that verdant and enamelled mead.
Yet I am not sorry that I loved you - ah!
what else had I a boy to do, -
For the hungry teeth of time devour, and the
silent-footed years pursue.
Rudderless, we drift athwart a tempest, and
when once the storm of youth is past,
Without lyre, without lute or chorus, Death
the silent pilot comes at last.
And within the grave there is no pleasure,
for the blindworm battens on the root,
And Desire shudders into ashes, and the tree
of Passion bears no fruit.
Ah! what else had I to do but love you?
God's own mother was less dear to me,
And less dear the Cytheraean rising like an
argent lily from the sea.
I have made my choice, have lived my
poems, and, though youth is gone in wasted days,
I have found the lover's crown of myrtle better
than the poet's crown of bays.
(Find the whole poem by scrolling down here .)
I'll say hello to Wilde's statue when we are in Dublin this summer!
I've taken this whole royal wedding thing as artistic inspiration and come up with a few new items in my Etsy shop to celebrate. Click here to see the necklace in the photo above, and click here to see a few brass royal coats of arms pins/bag tags with antique laundry pins, as well as a couple of Scottish coats of arms glass cabochon key chains (illustrations clipped from vintage books). Lots more of the Scottish tartan/clan items to come… we'll be visiting some family ancestral sites around Edinburgh before we go to the ones near Dublin! More on all that soon.
Now, hop in your carriage and go share some royal waves with Rebecca at Sloth Reads. (Psstt... she's got a giveaway of a fanTAStic and oh-so-funny book that my husband and I bought - just for ourSELVES! - a few months ago.) Cheerio!