Friday, April 27, 2012

Poetry Post: The Lady of the Lake

I began my writing at a young age with short stories and poetry. The stories I wrote were for either school or because my friends and I felt the need to jot down stories about each other. The poetry I wrote because it gave me great pleasure, a way to express whatever I may have been feeling at the time or perhaps I saw or read something that inspired me. In the end I decided that I was not a poet. When I was younger, I didn't understand poetry except that I like the way it flowed. I haven't written a poem in over ten years and that's okay too because I have a lovely collection that I go back through every now and again to remind me of how it all began.

Like them, don't like them, share your thoughts, offer critiques but really just remember that these are for pleasure and fun. I enjoy poetry immensely, but I never take it too seriously. If it brings out some kind of reaction from me, good or bad, then I feel it has served a purpose. The poems I will share on these Poetry Posts are either written by me or come from a poet whom I admire or because the poem is one I enjoyed enough to remember.

My favorite poem of all time is The Lady of the Lake by Sir Walter Scott. Below is one of my favorite stanzas.

Do you have a favorite poet? A favorite poem?

The Lady of the Lake

Canto Third - The Gathering
The Summer dawn's reflected hue
     To purple changed Loch Katrine blue;
     Mildly and soft the western breeze
     Just kissed the lake, just stirred the trees,
     And the pleased lake, like maiden coy,
     Trembled but dimpled not for joy
     The mountain-shadows on her breast
     Were neither broken nor at rest;
     In bright uncertainty they lie,
     Like future joys to Fancy's eye.
     The water-lily to the light
     Her chalice reared of silver bright;
     The doe awoke, and to the lawn,
     Begemmed with dew-drops, led her fawn;
     The gray mist left the mountain-side,
     The torrent showed its glistening pride;
     Invisible in flecked sky The lark sent clown her revelry:
     The blackbird and the speckled thrush
     Good-morrow gave from brake and bush;
     In answer cooed the cushat dove
     Her notes of peace and rest and love.

For such an historic poem, I must say I was a bit disappointed to discover that The Lady of the Lake was available on Kindle. My copy is from the 19th century and even with a few torn pages and years of wearing, it's still my favorite copy. I do not believe Scott would have approved of a digital version, but no matter. It is available for free online through the Gutenberg Project, but if you'd like to read this wonderful narrative poem (which I highly recommend), then you can find Lady of the Lake on Amazon. It's only $0.99 (a deal if ever there was one).

Image of Loch Katrine (inspiration for Lady of the Lake):

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