Imagining the dead female body as the most poetical image thus is one way of coping with the danger of the abject—which is neither male nor female—by gendering it, that is to say by inscribing the a-semiotic within a semiotic system, and for further protection by sublimating it in a positive and static image. The coincidence of the Whore and the Virgin Mary then has its counterpart in the ambivalent figure of the muse. The image of dead woman as muse—or of muse as dead woman—is a disturbing instance of a conflation of purity the idealised, etherealised muse and abjection the corpse as the ultimate source of pollution.
Speaking for Jeanne, rather than letting her voice be heard—how could she? Or, otherwise stated, who failed to take up the challenge: The Bakhtinian grotesque relies on strong binaries, i. As is known—and as Carter herself was aware 16 —the grotesque overthrow of social hierarchy is but transitional, and eventually leaves it intact, being something of a safety valve.
In other words, the grotesque body—seen through Bakhtinian lenses—is not the bodily abject, as it is already part of a signifying structure which abjection puts to task. The low and the feminine can then overthrow the high and the masculine. And what about the description of her finding herself and coming down to earth?
It would be heartless, if not downright cynical, to read it without a qualm about its bitter ironies: But there is yet another paradox, on which I would like to conclude, which is that there might be more regeneration in store for Baudelaire, if we consider his poetic legacy, including to writers like Carter.
Is poetry, then, the true Baudelairean syphilis, infecting readers and writers beyond his grave? Her re-visioning of the male canon cannot escape being, in the true sense, equivocal. She relates abjection to perversion in that the former neither ignores nor bows to a law, a prohibition or a rule, but rather twists or corrupts them. The same obtains for the literature of abjection, which plays with and circumvents Religion, Ethic, Law—proving them both necessary and absurd—but at a distance from the abject: Abjection is an exacting muse.
The Infernal Desires of Angela Carter. Bristow, Joseph, and Trev Lynn Broughton, eds. The Infernal Desires of Angela Carter: Fiction, Fe mininity, Feminism. Studies in 20 th Century Literature. Over her Dead Body: Death, Femininity and the Aesthetic. An Exercise in Cultural History. An Analysis of the Concepts of Pollution and Taboo. Much more he spake, with growing ardour fired;. Behold that ancient house on yonder lawn,. The hospitable doors are open thrown;.
And there the grandam sits, in placid ease,. And there the manly farmers scan the news;. Then, just at one, the full thanksgiving feast,. Who e'er has seen thee in thy flaky crust. Now to the kitchen come a vagrant train,. But who is this, whose scarlet cloak has known. Yet now the sibyl wears her mildest mood;. Thy doting faith, fond maid, might envied be,. New England's daughters need not envy those. He thinks not so, that young enamour'd boy,. Gay bands, move on, your draught of pleasure quaff;.
While these enjoy the mirth that suits their years,. On the white wings of peace their days have flown,. But now, farewell to thee, thanksgiving day! BLEST were those days! Can these dull ages boast. And loveliest of her line. The tear of joy,. A child of passion: Yet, not perverted, would my words imply. But the collective attributes that fill,. Yet anger or revenge, envy or hate,. Or if, perchance, though form'd most just and pure. If, haply such the fair Judean finds,.
And such, even now, in earliest youth are seen;. And yet, despite of all, the starting tear,. Required it at their need, she could have stood,. And this at intervals in language bright. Then, as young christian bard had sung, they seem'd. While o'er her graceful shoulder's milky swell,. Enwoven with their boughs, a fragrant bower. And, though the sun had gained his utmost height,. Sweet flower, thou'rt lovelier even than the rose:.
Art like those brilliant things we never taste. Here, too, the lily raised its snow-white head;. Tranquil and lone in such a light to be,. WOE to thee, wild ambition! Through the celestial domes thy clarion peal'd;. Darting through all her veins the subtle fire,. The thousand wild desires, that still torment.
As spirits feel —yet not for man we mourn,. Fame ne'er had roused, nor song her records kept;. Yet what the price? With stings that never cease. WHAT bliss for her who lives her little day,. To every blast she bends in beauty meek;—. Who only sorrows when she sees him pain'd,. What bliss for her, ev'n in this world of woe,. This I had hoped; but hope too dear, too great,. THEN, lowly bending, with seraphic grace,. While he, "Nay, let me o'er thy white arms bind. Its fitful song the mingling murmur meeting.
While gemmy diadem thrown down beside,. One careless arm around the boy was flung,. Quick to perceive, in him no freedom rude.
AND thus, at length his plaintive lip express'd. The heavenly angel watched his subject's star. The nether earth looks beauteous as a gem;. The nightingale among his roses sleeps;. Proud prickly cerea, now thy blossom 'scapes. A silent stream winds darkly through the shade,. Of marble fairly carved; and by its side. Is there a heart that ever loved in vain,. Still the fair Gnome's light hand the chime prolongs;.
How my least word lent colour to thy cheek! We parted; years are past, and thou art dead;.
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Torn from thy sight, to save a life of gloom,. How beauteous art thou, O thou morning sun! The infant strains his little arms, to catch. Sweet to the lip, the draught, the blushing fruit;. Yet each keen sense were dulness but for thee;. How many lips have sung thy praise, how long! Thy dark-eyed daughters come in beauty forth. Haply, sometimes, spent with the sleepless night,. SWEET is the evening twilight; but, alas! And look like heaven dissolved. The bard has sung, God never form'd a soul.
But thousand evil things there are that hate. And, as the dove to far Palmyra flying. So —many a soul o'er life's drear desert faring,. DAY, in melting purple dying,. Thou to whom I love to hearken,. Save thy toiling, spare thy treasure;. Tell to thee the high-wrought feeling,. He said; all o'er to radiant beauty warming,. Fair virtue tuned thy youthful breath,. The Indian, leaning on his bow,. The native dove of that warm isle. Than I, a stranger, first beheld. Soft be thy sleep, as mists that rest.
And yet, for thee, why breathe a prayer? And treasured shall thine image be. To meet a friendship such as mine,. Looks are its food, its nectar sighs,. Though Friendship be its earthly name,. Him let it view not, or it dies. A charm o'er every object plays —. That, wrung by grief to see it part,. I love thy bowers,. They praised my forehead's stainless white;. Well pleased, the kind return I gave,. Why will my heart so wildly beat? I fear my native snows; —. The orange-tree has fruit and flowers;. When the white coffee-blossoms swell,. Drive gently on, dark muleteer,.
The Fireside Poets
Escapes for those I love so well,. On, on, my bark! OH, moon of flowers! Oh, moon of flowers! I WAS a pensive pilgrim at the foot. Thee light, and man salvation. How beautiful it stands,.
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For there, as many a year. Or where the o'er-arching grove. Yon old forsaken nests. And where alternate springs. Fain would I know what forms. Heaven bless you, too, my plants,. Thou, too, of changeful mood,. To each perennial flower,. Praise to our Father-God,. FLOW on for ever, in thy glorious robe. Earth fears to lift. HAS it come, the time to fade? Hydrangia, on her telegraph. The vine that o'er my casement climb'd. Put on thy mourning, said my soul,. The lily, as a timid bride,. The ripen'd rose, where are they now?
WHERE art thou, bird of song? Lamb, where dost thou rest? Seek thy Saviour's flock,. RISE from the dells where ye first were born,. There was a dell. Yet I strangely thought. SAW ye the farmer at his plough,. Come, see him at his harvest-home,. The dog partakes his master's joy,. The Harvest-Giver is their friend,. IT stood among the chestnuts, its white spire. Heaven bless thee, Lonely Church,. Think'st thou to be conceal'd, thou little seed,. Think'st thou to be conceal'd, thou little thought,. WHO asks if I remember thee? Did Israel's exiled sons, when far from Zion's hill away,.
The simple cap that deck'd thy brow is still to Memory dear,. Gleams forth, with all its letter'd lines, still fresh with hues of thought. The flowers, the dear, familiar flowers, that in thy garden grew,. I feel thy love within my breast, it nerves me strong and high,. THOU wak'st, my baby boy, from sleep,. With what a smile of gladness meek. The artist's pencil shall it guide? Through music's labyrinthine maze,.
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Old Coke's or Blackstone's mighty tome. Well skilled, the pulse of sickness press? Say, shall it find the cherished grasp. Grant it to dry the tear of woe,. Write wisdom on the wing of time,. Discharge a just, an useful part. THE Lord is on his holy throne,. Your sorrows to his eye are known,.
Doth Death thy bosom's cell invade? Press not thy purpose on thy God,. True prayer is not the noisy sound. Go to thy rest, my child! Before thy heart might learn. Because thy smile was fair,. FROM a bright hearth-stone of our land,. That beam is gather'd back again. Yet better 't were to pass away,. Lost —where the thoughtless throng. But when the sea and land. THE past she ruleth. When o'er the future many a shade. Make friends of potent Memory,. Make friends of potent Memory. It was the quietest of nooks; —. When memory's harp had ceased to ring,.
In summer, when the fields were green,.
“He was a shit, to boot”: Abjection, Subjection and Feminism in “Black Venus”
There, with one friend, delightful flew. It was the homestead of my mind;. And there with mingled joy and pain,. There, when my heart was sick with grief,. OF all his starry honours shorn,. Blue-eyed she comes with tresses spread,. The tall corn briskly stirs its sheaves;. The flowers, that lay all night in tears,. With beads the trembling grass is dress'd, —. The lake obeys the zephyr's will,.
With busy sounds the valley rings;. The gentle kine forsake the shed,. Scattering the night-clouds as in scorning,. SLEEP on, sleep on! And canst thou lift. Say, is it Passion's breathing vow? Enjoy the fleeting hour, —forget. Love's roses droop ere morn hath fled;. Each day, each hour, love's nearest ties. The friend so closely link'd to thee,. The most impassion'd love that warms. Thy children —o'er their opening minds. Those laughing boys that round. Though warmly smile beam back to smile,. Then bind not earthly ties too close,. Bird of nervous wing and bright,.
Is the purple sea-weed rarer. Shady grove and sunny slope,. Where no winds too rudely swell,. There, the mock-bird sings of love;. Sea-bird, stay thy rapid flight: He obeyeth God's behest:. If to struggle with the storm. IT was the Sabbath eve —we went,. In darker grandeur, as the day. The cooling dews their balm distill'd;.
The green-wood waved its shade hard by,. Her beauty 't was a joy to note,. All motionless, with head inclined,. Once more the magic sounds we tried —. We know not, and we ne'er may know,. THE flowers, the many flowers. They, to the summer air. The breeze, the gentle breeze. The brook, the limpid brook. The hours, the youthful hours,. Young life, young turbulent life,. THE shades of eve are gathering slowly round,. Calls through the deep'ning twilight — Whippoorwill. Faintly is heard the whispering mountain breeze;.
No more the woodman's axe is heard to fall;. Again, and yet again, comes Whippoorwill. I would not hear thee mourn, poor Whippoorwill. Thoughts of my distant home upon me press,. Touch'd with that plaintive burthen — Whippoorwill. Sing to the village lass, whose happy home. Sing not to me, oh gentle Whippoorwill. Ah, they cannot hear.
Another name my lips would breathe; —but then.
Hush, or thou'lt break my heart, sad Whippoorwill! THERE sits a woman on the brow. She heeds not how the mad waves leap. As morning twilight faintly gleams,. Far other once was Rosalie;. O'er her pure thoughts did sorrow fling. A sailor's bride 't was hers to be: But long, where all is wreck'd beside,. Nine years —though all had given him o'er,. On that high rock, abrupt and bare,. And every far-off sail she sees,. The sea-bird answers to her cry;. It cannot go; —with that to part,. When falling dews the clover steep,.
Down the rude track her feet have worn, —. But when the gray morn tints the sky,. Again she goes, untired, to sit. Hidden, and deep, and never dry,. All else may fail that soothes the heart,. MY piazza, my piazza! I envy not the gorgeousness that decks the crowded room,. My fresh and cool piazza! I seek the healthy breeze. My bright and gay piazza! I love thee in the hour,. My cool and fresh piazza! I love thee when the sun. I prize thy quiet talk,. My piazza, my piazza! My loved and lone piazza! I feel as if a spirit's wing came near and brush'd my heart,.
THE gay saloon was thronged with grace and beauty,. When nature's beauties bless thy sight,. When the far-clustering stars unroll. When music with her unsought lay. But should misfortune hovering nigh. Should poverty with withering hand. When youth and youthful pleasures fly,. And when unerring death, at last,. And when thy spirit soars above,. MY garden, fresh and beautiful! My garden— fair and brilliant! My quiet little garden! My friendly little garden! WHY should old age escape unnoticed here,.
You bid me be busy; but, mother, hear. I wish, oh, I wish I was yonder cloud,. BIRD of the south! While stranger-throngs roll by, thy song is lending. And I will sing, though dear ones, loved and loving,. And with heart-music shall my feeble aiding. As, in lonely thought, I ponder'd. Soon vast mountains rose before me,. Then the clouds of ancient fable. Sisyphus, for ever toiling,.
Rugged strength and radiant beauty —.
While our faith in good grows stronger,. As the rivers, farthest flowing,. WE all are children in our strife to seize. Or, like the boy, whose eager hand is raised. And yet the child will have enjoyment true,. And ever those who would enjoyment gain,. THERE knelt beneath the tulip tree. In vain the flowers may woo around, —. And on her heart, that gentle maid. Of old the sacred mistletoe. But still the olive-leaf imparts,. As on each rock, where plants can cling,. THE night was dark and fearful,. Within that dwelling lonely,. A hundred lights are glancing. The morning sun is shining —.
I SING to him! I dream he hears. Love gives to nature's voice a tone. I breathe the dear and cherish'd name,. O, these are all before me, when. THE birds their love-notes warble. An only child was Alice,. Beneath such tender training,. The gift that made her charming. And when in merry laughter. And so she came, like sunbeams. Shadow'd beneath those awful piles of stone,. Slowly, like youthful Titan gathering strength. But now it deepens, struggles, rushes on;. It reigns alone —and Earth the sceptre feels: Old Nile would ne'er bedew. And thus the Peoples, from the many Lands,. How wise —how wonderful the works of God!
And ye, whose way is on this warrior wave,. Lowell, more than any of contemporaries, not only brings his readers without fanfare into the dilemmas of modern existence but also suggests the too often neglected reserves of humanity we can draw on to overcome them. The most balanced assessments of the Fireside Poets remain those poised between contemporary reverence and modern rejection; for all but Whittier this poise can be found in the introductions written for the American Writers series published by the American Book Company included in the list below.
The Fields Were Green. Stanford University Press, His Life and Work. Bendixen, Alfred, and Stephen Burt, eds. The Cambridge History of American Poetry. Cambridge University Press, The Flowering of New England: Clark, Harry Hayden, and Norman Foerster, eds. Representative Selections, with Introduction, Bibliography, and Notes. Duke University Press, Longfellow, Lowell, Holmes, Whittier. Edited by Mark Richardson. Irmscher, Christoph, and Robert Arbour, eds. Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, Poets on William Cullen Bryant. Fordham University Press, The Continuity of American Poetry.
American Literature Online Publication Date: Don't have an account? Updated on 25 June The previous version of this content can be found here. The calm shade Shall bring a kindred calm, and the sweet breeze That makes the green leaves dance, shall waft a balm To thy sick heart. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow In contrast to Bryant, who wrote some of his best poetry as well as his theories of poetry while still in his teens, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow — was slow in developing his poetic career.
Related ANGELINA S. MUMFORD - Early 19th Century American Female Poet.
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