Sunday, February 8, 2009

Mermaid Poem by
Afred Lord Tennyson

The following mermaid poem was written in 1830.

The Mermaid

WHO would be
A mermaid fair,
Singing alone,
Combing her hair
Under the sea,
In a golden curl
With a comb of pearl,
On a throne?

I would be a mermaid fair;
I would sing to myself the whole of the day;
With a comb of pearl I would comb my hair;
And still as I comb’d I would sing and say,
“Who is it loves me? who loves not me?”
I would comb my hair till my ringlets would fall,
Low adown, low adown,
From under my starry sea-bud crown
Low adown and around,
And I should look like a fountain of gold
Springing alone
With a shrill inner sound,
Over the throne
In the midst of the hall;
Till that great sea-snake under the sea
From his coiled sleeps in the central deeps
Would slowly trail himself sevenfold
Round the hall where I sate, and look in at the gate
With his large calm eyes for the love of me.
And all the mermen under the sea
Would feel their immortality
Die in their hearts for the love of me.

But at night I would wander away, away,
I would fling on each side my low-flowing locks,
And lightly vault from the throne and play
With the mermen in and out of the rocks;
We would run to and fro, and hide and seek,
On the broad sea-wolds in the crimson shells,
Whose silvery spikes are nighest the sea.
But if any came near I would call, and shriek,
And adown the steep like a wave I would leap
From the diamond-ledges that jut from the dells;
For I would not be kiss’d by all who would list,
Of the bold merry mermen under the sea;
They would sue me, and woo me, and flatter me,
In the purple twilights under the sea;
But the king of them all would carry me,
Woo me, and win me, and marry me,
In the branching jaspers under the sea;
Then all the dry pied things that be
In the hueless mosses under the sea
Would curl round my silver feet silently,
All looking up for the love of me.
And if I should carol aloud, from aloft
All things that are forked, and horned, and soft
Would lean out from the hollow sphere of the sea,
All looking down for the love of me.

I don't read much of Tennyson, I think it's because I have a hard time finding the melody of his poems but this one struck me as a song, the song of the Mermaid. This morning feels like a mermaid morning as the snow is all melting and the air is thick with foggy water and it feels as though a mermaid could pop out of the fog of the yard and swim in one of the big melting snow puddles. We've been under frozen snow for so long, just to see the grass seems a respite, a bit of spring teasing us and as I am still missing summer's heat the little bit of warmth has given me a shot of inspiration and hope that soon it will be time to plant flowers and play outside a little.

I am a little fascinated with men who write in the voice of a woman, even if she's a merwoman. I am reading a book about Dickenson and he really enjoyed writing in a woman's voice. I think perhaps it's a chance to imagine what it's like to think like woman, a man's great mystery. Sometimes they hit it right on the mark and sometimes they are so off that it makes me giggle a little wanting to find one of those oh so wise men and just mess up their hair a little and tell them to go play golf or something.

I think I have been willing spring all week, getting a pedicure, looking for flower seeds, buying sandals. Perhaps it's the modern day spring dance, the rituals that will bring the sun and the warmth. If I see antoher snowflake, I may just lose it. It's been a long long winter. Before I sound more like Laura on little house on the prairie, I am off to get some work done.

If you'd like to see more of my work you can find it at You can always reach me at Take care and thanks for spending this time with me, Carrie.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Who could forget Emily at Valentine's Day?
If you were coming in the fall

If you were coming in the fall,
I ’d brush the summer by
With half a smile and half a spurn,
As housewives do a fly.

If I could see you in a year,
I ’d wind the months in balls,
And put them each in separate drawers,
Until their time befalls.

If only centuries delayed,
I ’d count them on my hand,
Subtracting till my fingers dropped
Into Van Diemen’s land.

If certain, when this life was out,
That yours and mine should be,
I ’d toss it yonder like a rind,
And taste eternity.

But now, all ignorant of the length
Of time’s uncertain wing,
It goads me, like the goblin bee,
That will not state its sting.

Oh, if you were coming in the fall...this is one of the first poems
by Dickinson I'd ever read. I was young and so innocent full
questions about why one would wait for love when another love
would be soon to follow with certainty. My feminist nature wouldn't
have even considered waiting for some man to make up his mind or
change his circumstances. A young girl is full of so many insane
notions, it's almost hard to separate them one from the other.

I have been quite taken with the steampunk jewelry and used some
really old watch parts to make the piece in the photo. I set them on silver
plated bases and used parts of Emily's poetry and her images, her love
of nature, and the vintage funky feel as I have the feeling Emily was
not very conventional about how she did anything. She did know about
waiting though and about passion and about time tick tick ticking away
and leaving her alone.

You left me, sweet, two legacies,—
A legacy of love
A Heavenly Father would content,
Had He the offer of;

You left me boundaries of pain
Capacious as the sea,
Between eternity and time,
Your consciousness and me.

Do you think he thought of her when he left? Do you think he
had a life full of regrets and leaving poor Emily was just
one of those regret cards he shuffled about? I wondered that myself.
Did she suffer for her art or in spite of it? Did God curse him
for her suffering? Did he lead her on or perhaps not even really
know that he was the object of her desire? I remember once receiving
a note from an old lover. I still have one of the books he gave me.
He was angry, angry that red fades before blue and nobody really knows
why. Angry that I hadn't set him a specific set of terms for my
departure and angry with all other women in the future for having
wronged him when he really only felt I had wronged him somehow.
At the time it didn't seem fair and I could laugh off his pain the way
Emily shooed a fly, but as time passes I wish I had handled the situation
with a little more care, taken care of his heart just a little rather than
"red fades before blue, I don't know why, it just does."

I don't get anxious about the possibility of a Valentine because I have one
but I do have a bit of heartache for those that are filled with angst
this time of year, the time of roses and chocolates and kissing. I know
most men just laugh off the idea of the holiday and I know the bossy
nonromantic in my life calls Valentines day the BirthdayChristmasEaster
"mother of all holidays" knowing full well that if it were to pass without
some romantic effort that I would be sporting an attitude for weeks.
I was watching the view the other day when Joy explained it the way I
feel about it. Women don't want the grand gift at Valentines Day.
They don't want a car or a new kitchen, they want a little something in a
box, something they poured over and thought about. They want it wrapped
in a pretty ribbon that they know some salesperson wrapped and they
want it given with excitement. They want love letters and perhaps
even a part of an original poem. They don't want live animals or new
tires or even a spa day. Not really.

Best Friend always sends out the best Valentines. We used to make
valentines together for days, glitter all over my house, glue on our fingers
and lace all over the floor. Those days were such fun.

If you are looking for a one of a kind valentine gift for someone you
love you can find my work at I am
open to most any suggestions. Thanks for spending this time with me
with much romantic notions, love and appreciation for all things
Emily, Carrie.