The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Friday and Life Under Ice

Bella's Bullfinch
By Dante Gabriel Rossetti

She fluted with her mouth as when one sips,
And waved her golden head, brave head & kind,
Outside his cage close to the window-blind;
Till her sweet bird, with little turns and dips,
Piped low to her of sweet companionships.
And when he stopped, she took some seed, I vow,
And fed him from her rosy tongue, which now
Peeped as a piercing bud between her lips.

And like the child in Chaucer, on whose tongue
The Blessed Mary laid, when he was dead,
A grain,—who straightway praised her name in song:
Even so when she, a little lightly red,
Now turned on me & laughed, I felt made strong
To honour and to praise her golden head.


Another day at home with the family. It's been a pretty nice, relaxing staycation -- technically apaulled has worked from home every day this week, but except when he's doing phone conferences so we need to be quiet in the kitchen, he's mostly hung out in the living room with us when everyone hasn't been out shoveling etc. The major event of our day was trekking out to the food store and drugstore to grab the things we've started to run out of...we're okay on toilet paper and milk, but the shampoo and green peppers were disappearing.


We watched the last three episodes of Desperate Romantics, and even though it gets increasingly over the top by the standards of Rossetti and Hunt themselves, I enjoyed it a lot. What's not to love about a show that has Rossetti saying, "I have a moral code, I just don't wear it out by overuse" to justify the fact that he's about to cheat on his long-suffering fiancee with a prostitute. Clearly I need to see Being Human just to see Aidan Turner in something else. And it took me until now to realize that the actor playing Holman Hunt is Peter Pettigrew's son!

I think my favorite thing about it, though, is that although it's ostensibly about the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, Lizzie Siddal is really the central character, and while the historical narrative usually goes that she became despondent and killed herself (accidentally or deliberately) after giving birth to a dead baby while Rossetti was out behaving badly, in this series her desire to be an artist is the most significant issue in her life and losing Ruskin's patronage is a worse blow than having an unfaithful husband and no child. I am very sorry there is not a Series Two set at Kelmscott Manor.

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