A little more discussion of poetry this week: I think I'm in love with William Morris. You probably know him as the head of the arts and crafts movement in Victorian England (which was really all I knew of him...and his lovely wallpaper.)
Pretty foxy, huh? But he was also a poet, and this week we studied his beautiful poem, "The Defence of Guenevere". Those Victorians really had a thing for Medieval themes, but unlike many Victorian poets who romanticized the middle ages (because they saw it as an antidote to the industrialism and materialism of the Vicotian era) Morris' poem was indictment of the ideas of divine kingship and the hypocrisy of so-called chivalric knights who wanted to condemn Guenevere for getting it on with Launcelot.
Morris was also a painter, and this is his painting of Guenevere for which he used his (equally foxy) wife, Jane Burden I'm going to put the poem in the extended body of this post cause it's super-long, but basically it's Guenevere's defence of her affair with Launcelot, not because she denies having done it, but because she was purchased by "little loving" King Arthur, had no say in the matter, and then got the hots for Launcelot. If you read the poem it's pretty radical stuff - she calls attention to how beautiful she is, and says that it was only natural that eventually she would act on the erotic desires everyone has. She also calls out that dirty snake, Mellyagraunce, who accused her in the first place for being a coward afraid to fight Launcelot and having a brother who accused his own mother of adultery and chopped of her head. Such filial ingratitude - it's really quite shocking!
This is a study for Guenevere by Dante Gabriel Rosetti, who - along with Morris - was part of the Pre-Raphealite Brotherhood. Jane Burden was the model again, as her beauty was particularly suited to their aesthetic.
Someone else now that I also love: the music of Joanna Newsom.
Doesn't she look like the most beautiful little elf-lady. She is a tiny thing and plays an enormous harp and has a strange but beautiful voice. You can hear some of her music if you click the link above, and the video for one of my all-time favourite songs, "The Sprout and the Bean" here.
Finally, I am going to attempt the colossal task (for me, at least) of designing a new banner using photoshop. So far I have managed one image of a "framed" doll and I'm very proud of my photoshop-fearing, luddite self. I also thank the very kind and patient Louise over at Art and Ghosts for her help with rounded corners! Here's Yvette, framed and sepia'd and waiting for her friends...