Saturday, April 10, 2021

NPM Spring Cleaning Day 10, Elizabeth Siddal, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Christina Rossetti, Mystery, Memory, etc.


Last Thursday, I shared a podcast from the Ashmolean Museum's Objects Out Loud series. Today I'm sharing another one. In August 2013 I shared this poem by Christina Rossetti that I've been reading with my eighth graders for years. It starts like this: 

In An Artist's Studio

by Christina Rossetti

One face looks out from all his canvases,

One selfsame figure sits or walks or leans:

We found her hidden just behind these screens,

That mirror gave back all her loveliness.

The poem goes on to describe all the different paintings that this same face looks out of. I described how my students and I tried to guess what was going on in this mysterious scene. (You can read the whole thing here or at the post I linked above.)

When I listened to the podcast, I learned all about the background of this poem. I was sure I'd never heard it before, and was fascinated. But then when I was writing this post, and I went back to link up with the original time I'd posted the poem, I saw that I had shared a link to what I called "this wonderful analysis" of the poem. When I followed the link I had shared, I got to a site which clearly talks about "Christina's observation of her brother's relationship with Elizabeth Siddal." Huh? Does that mean I had or had not read about Siddal before, and/or known that Christina's brother, the pre-Raphaelite painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti, had a long and fraught relationship with her? Well, we shall never know, because when one tries to follow those long-ago links, one receives a notice that this is "an adult community" with an age restriction. I assure you that I am well over 18, and also over 21, and likely over whatever age the site has set, but I also assure you that I have no intention of checking it out and I highly doubt there is any analysis of Rossetti's poem to be had there.


So the mystery is: what did I know and when did I know it? I have no idea. But I still enjoyed the podcast about the poem, and Lizzie Siddal, and to the best of my recollection, I never knew any of this stuff before. And when I read the poem next with my eighth graders, I will not tell them about any of it until we have had a discussion about what they imagine is going on, because that is always a great discussion. 


Here's the podcast: Not Just a Pretty Face. And now I can close the tab where it appears on my desktop. Spring Cleaning win! 


This is the ninth year of the Progressive Poem! See the schedule below to find where to go for today's line and to see who's participating this year.

April 1 Kat Apel at Kat Whiskers
2 Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise
3 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
4 Donna Smith at Mainly Write
5 Irene Latham at Live your Poem
6 Jan Godown Annino at BookseedStudio
7 Rose Cappelli at Imagine the Possibilities
8 Denise Krebs at Dare to Care
9 Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche
10 Molly Hogan at Nix the Comfort Zone
11 Buffy Silverman
12 Janet Fagel at Reflections on the Teche
13 Jone Rush MacCulloch
14 Susan Bruck at Soul Blossom Living
15 Wendy Taleo at Tales in eLearning
16 Heidi Mordhorst at my juicy little universe
17 Tricia Stohr Hunt at The Miss Rumphius Effect
18 Linda Baie at Teacher Dance
19 Carol Varsalona at Beyond Literacy Link
20 Robyn Hood Black at Life on the Deckle Edge
21 Leigh Anne Eck at A Day in the Life
22 Ruth Hersey at There is No Such Thing as a God-forsaken Town
23 Janice Scully at Salt City Verse
24 Tabatha Yeatts at The Opposite of Indifference
25 Shari Daniels at Islands of my Soul
26 Tim Gels at Yet There is Method at
27 Rebecca Newman
28 Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core
29 Christie Wyman at Wondering and Wondering
30 Michelle Kogan at More Art 4 All


1 comment:

Linda B said...

Someone posted about a new book yesterday & I know I've read another book about the same thing but I cannot remember the title or how long ago. I get why you're surprised. We've posted so many things through the years & I had a blog with students too, now deleted. So much swirls in and out! I'll listen to this to see about the painting & face!