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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was an American poet and professor, and, despite having a rather tumultuous personal life where he endured many of his own dreary days (his first wife died after childbirth and his second from severe burns in an accident), he was able to overcome them through a lifelong study of what he loved most: writing. Probably most famous for his epic poem Evangeline, Longfellow was a prolific poet, penning many of our most famous poems and giving us many words of wisdom for when we’re faced with our own showers–whether they be in April or not:
The lowest ebb is the turn of the tide-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
“I have been used to consider poetry as “the food of love” said Darcy. “Of a fine, stout, healthy love it may. Everything nourishes what is strong already. But if it be only a slight, thin sort of inclination, I am convinced that one good sonnet will starve it entirely away”
-Jane Austen in Pride and Prejudice
I share Jane’s wariness of poetry. That stuff could drive a person mad.
“Dear March- Come in-” is one of my favorite Emily Dickinson poems, and I couldn’t resist the perfect opportunity to share when all of us are saying today, “Dear March, come in.” I never remember being excited about this month in past years, but for some reason, this year I’m really rather looking forward to this month: I’ve seen glimpses of the flowers it will bring, and a few warm, sunshiny days it promises and I’m all in. A summer hat from J. Crew; a spring-print, new, lavender bra; a plant-able “tea seed paper;” a lilac goblet; and a new print for the wall is my spring-clean, just in time to have March stop by with all the freshness it trundles in. Happy Friday and happy new month everyone! I’m absolutely shocked we are at the advent of the third month of this year. Time is flying but I quite like it, there isn’t a moment to feel stagnant and stuck in this swift trot towards Spring.
English majors everywhere might strike me from English-major-kingdom for the superficiality of my interpretation of Robert Frost’s “Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening,” but I like to think that even the most die-hard of all literature-ites need a little lightness in their poetry readings, yes? I hope. Anyway, even if I’m the only one who likes to read a poem for its surface value and initial imagery it inspires once in awhile, I don’t really care because it’s Friday and everyone should just take a deep breath and stop trying so hard, don’t you think?
I love this poem. It’s simple, yet Frost makes you feel as if you’re really in the snowy woods with his speaker. When I read it, I immediately think of white, gold and silver, quiet simplicity, someone searching for a spot of warmth, and a person in the midst of a journey…translation: a perfect wedding inspiration! White with touches of gold and silver, and simple, rustic decor that will help the new couple begin their journey in a beautiful way:
You will only expect a few words–what will those be? When the heart is full it may run over, but the real fulness stays within…Words can never tell you, however,—form them, transform them anyway,—how perfectly dear you are to me—perfectly dear to my heart and soul. I look back, and in every one point, every word and gesture, every letter, every silence—you have been entirely perfect to me—I would not change one word, one look. My hope and aim are to preserve this love, not to fall from it—for which I trust to God who procured it for me, and doubtlessly can preserve it. Enough now, my dearest, dearest own—You have given me the highest, completest proof of love that ever one human being gave another. I am all gratitude-and all pride (under the proper feeling which ascribes pride to the right source) all pride that my life has been so crowned by you. God bless you prays your very own R.—I will write tomorrow of course. Take every care of my life which is in that dearest little hand; try and be composed, my beloved. -Robert Browning to Elizabeth Barrett Browning
“Love” sometimes is inspired by words. For Robert Browning, he fell in love with Elizabeth’s writing without ever seeing or knowing her. Through mutual respect and admiration for one another’s minds, Robert and Elizabeth Browning had a very successful marriage, within which spawned some of the most beautiful love language of all time. Modern love puts a lot of emphasis on physical attraction, sexual gratification, and personal reward. But the most beautiful portraits of love I think are the selfless ones where it is obvious that regardless of how lovely you are, your mate is filled with “all gratitude and all pride” that their “life has been so crowned,” simply, by knowing you. Happy Friday everyone, hope this week gave you a little Valentines inspiration. There’s more to come next week so stay tuned and get busy over the weekend!
Posthumously made famous by the publishing of her nearly 1,800 poems she kept mostly secret during her lifetime, Emily Dickinson is one of the most prolific poets of all time. Known for her ethereal and abstract poetry, Emily was also known for her seclusionist lifestyle and plain living. Dressing almost always in white during her later, most eccentric years, Emily became known as “the woman in white,” hardly ever seeing visitors and almost never leaving her house, she seemed to take on the ethereal nature of her poetry. Perhaps it was eccentricity, or perhaps Emily just knew the power a clean, white palette gave to the creative mind, but whatever it was, her simple life helped her to produce some of the most beautiful poetry of all time. January gets a bad rap for being glum, gloomy, and colorless. Sometimes though, white is subtly more powerful than the most vibrant red or the deepest blue. Used in the right way, as Emily knew, white can lend a pause of calm, a strong contrast, or a soft touch that no other color can.
1. Floral Milk bath soap from Anthropologie. A nice long soak in a hot bath with this mix of buttermilk powder, essential oils, and Epsom salts sounds beyond amazing and a much-needed drench of hydration in this winter weather.
2. Owl cakestand from West Elm is on sale right now! Please tell me you can’t resist this, because I couldn’t.
3. Ceramic Fox Speaker from West Elm: it’s a speaker compatible with most mp3 players! Just plug it in and you’ve got the cutest speaker I’ve ever since in my life. There’s also a bear and a squirrel if you aren’t feeling foxy.
4. Last Snow Drop earrings from Anthropologie can make you feel like spring is on the way even if the real snow drops are far from being over.
5. Peach Cloud Mobile from leptitpapillon is a mobile for a baby of course, but I don’t think babies are the only ones who need a little something to help them sleep.
6. Tail Me More Mug from Modcloth has a little fox-tail for a handle and a hidden surprise that will make you smile in the morning as you slurp down some liquid life (coffee).
7. Marshmallow nail polish from Essie. Nothing chicer than a winter white.
Plain Jane: “it was the misfortune of poetry, to be seldom safely enjoyed by those who enjoyed it completely, and that the strong feelings which alone could estimate it truly, were the very feelings which ought to taste it but sparingly.”
-Jane Austen in Persuasion
Jane always seemed to have a rather skittish view of poetry in most of her writings. On that view we agree completely. I am a horrid English major for I always gave an inward groan when poetry was the subject of conversation. Some of it is beautiful to be sure, poignant at times, brilliant at others, but spending hours dissecting The Red Wheelbarrow for example was really too much for me. I think Jane might agree.