Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The Idiot in Charge of the Aslym...Jan

Okay so I am either brave or totally crazy, you'll have to be the ones to decide! But I am the "leader" (if you can call me that). Never fear, Amanda is still here.

I'd like some input from y'all.
Would you like to have project contests? Not every month necessarily, but atleast once in awhile. Maybe even just have a project contest once every two (or three months) to include any projects done for the readings during that time. The hostess's and myself, and anyone else I can convince to help, could be the judges. Let me know how you feel about this idea.

Also, if anyone has suggestions, tips, or advice please feel free to email me at the email addy in the sidebar.

Next Monday we begin on the "Raven" by Edger Allen Poe.

Looking For...

Hello Crafted Poetry members-

So I admit I am over ambitious. I really like starting groups, especially when I know I do not have time for them. So in an effort to keep Crafted Poetry going, I was wondering if there is anyone who would like to take over? I am afraid I will not be able to contribute much and I feel like an awful director. Please email me if you are interested in taking over the group.

Thank you-

email: ttbookjunkie at yahoo dot com

Monday, April 10, 2006

The Golden Thread?

I made a reference to Lucie Manette in one of my previous posts. I thought of her again as I was re-reading "The Goblin Market". Lucie is a typical Victorian female from A Tale of Two Cities. Her blonde hair is the "golden thread" that links and binds the characters through love, while her foil, Madame DeFarge knits them together with the black wool of hate and revenge.

I notice in Rosetti's poem there is a reference to a lock of golden hair, the lock that Laura uses to pay for the fruit.

But sweet-tooth Laura spoke in haste:
"Good folk, I have no coin;
To take were to purloin:
I have no copper in my purse,
I have no silver either,
And all my gold is on the furze
That shakes in windy weather
Above the rusty heather."
"You have much gold upon your head,"
They answered altogether:
"Buy from us with a golden curl."
She clipped a precious golden lock,
She dropped a tear more rare than pearl,
Then sucked their fruit globes fair or red:

I wonder what this gold hair might have represented to the Victorians. Here it seems to be something refined and innocent that Laura sacrifices. With Lucie, it is her care, concern, and love--her womanly gift to care for her family and her nest.

There are also references to nests in Rosetti's poem. (?)

I can't put it into words (that's what poetry is for I suppose) but both works seem to capture the special, almost unwordly, qualities the Victorians assigned to women. Victorians embraced the feminine so much that no woman could live up to the ideal. And of course, many women were trapped by it as well.

....But, it seems sad that some of it has been lost. To be a liberated woman in our time, we are often expected to look and act like men. Our feminine characteristics are seen as weak. Have you even been scoffed at when people find out that you are a knitter? Why? I have read a lot of Nathaniel Hawthorne. He longed for a different standard for feminity and admired the hardiness, strength, and grace of early colonial women. He complained that the Victorian woman had become weak and superficial. Why did this happen? Would Rosetti agree with Hawthorne's assessment? I am not sure.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

My Project

At first I thought I would make a mesh bag to carry fruit in. But as I re-read, and re-read, and read the poem again, I am not sure that that's the project calling to me to be made. (I'll wait until the open discussion period to explain my thoughts as to why I don't think a mesh bag is right for me to make as my project.)

I am not sure what I will make. I just know that for me, atleast the way I am thinking/feeling at the moment, something evoking protection and/or rescue is called for.

UPDATED monday 04-10-06

I know what I'd like to make, it came to me at the Super Walmart this morning, I am just not real sure that I'll be able to or not. But here's the idea anyway.....a bread cloth with counted cross stitch fruits in the corners. The fruit conection should be obvious, but why a bread cloth? Well:"... Kneaded cakes of whitest wheat, Cakes for dainty mouths to eat..."

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Why animals?

I am wondering why the merchant man-goblins are compared to animals in the following passage:

One had a cat's face,
One whisked a tail,
One tramped at a rat's pace,
One crawled like a snail,
One like a wombat prowled obtuse and furry,
One like a ratel tumbled hurry-scurry.
Lizzie heard a voice like voice of doves
Cooing all together:
They sounded kind and full of loves
In the pleasant weather.

This is when Laura first starts to falter--after she looks.

The fruit

The fruits, I believe, are echoes of the many stories of women being tempted and punished for their hunger and thirst. Weren't they all punished for their sensuality, and how that sensuality might corrupt men? We all know these stories, but we rarely think about them in such immediate and vibrant terms.

When Eve bit into that apple, what sensual joys did she discover in the new taste? Was it a red apple? Was it crisp? Was she delighted with the flavor and the texture, and did she want to share those wonders with Adam?

When Persephone ate the pomegranate seeds, was she delighting in the sweetness and tang that was, perhaps, absent in her life as the mortal daughter of a Goddess? Rachel Pollack has made the case that Persephone became a Goddess because she ate the fruit, and that she became Demeter's equal by eating the fruit of the Underworld. Had she not, she would have not become immortal and powerful.

When Cinderella ate the apple, wasn't she tempted by its beauty? And wasn't she rescued from that lapse only by the ministration of a man?

And the goblins, I believe, are the fairytale agents of temptation. Notice how they are all men - hideous men, who bear gorgeous fruits that look and taste like nothing else .That look, that temptation, is as dangerous as any sensual temptation in the world of a Victorian woman. Only her sister can save Laura from the repercussions of her passion. Isn't that a wonderfully transgressive idea for the times?

(But no, I do not believe that the transgression is "Sapphic.")

Virginia Woolf on Christina Rossetti

From The Second Common Reader:

"Yet for all its symmetry, yours was a complex song. When you struck your harp many strings sounded together. Like all instinctives you had a keen sense of the visual beauty of the world. Your poems are full of gold dust and “sweet geraniums’ varied brightness”; your eye noted incessantly how rushes are “velvet-headed”, and lizards have a “strange metallic mail”—your eye, indeed, observed with a sensual pre-Raphaelite intensity that must have surprised Christina the Anglo–Catholic. But to her you owed perhaps the fixity and sadness of your muse."

Monday, April 03, 2006

The nightmares of a Victorian female

Poor Lizzie and Laura. They are haunted by the goblin men. When I read this poem, I can't help but think of the typical Dickensian heroine in all her purity, ignorance, repression, and self-sacrifice (I do like Dickens by the way.) What would Lucie Manette think of all these goblins? She was haunted too, but she heard footsteps.

Evening by evening
Among the brookside rushes,
Laura bowed her head to hear,
Lizzie veiled her blushes:
Crouching close together
In the cooling weather,
With clasping arms and cautioning lips,
With tingling cheeks and finger-tips.
"Lie close," Laura said,
Pricking up her golden head:
We must not look at goblin men,
We must not buy their fruits:
Who knows upon what soil they fed
Their hungry thirsty roots?"

I particularly like this passage. I imagine the girls blushing and hiding, feeling so asahmed that the goblins call out to them.

They must not buy the fruit. They must not listen. They must not look. The fruit may be tainted and evil. Mmmm? But the "goblin men" can tempt the girls and push their fruit on them. It seems to be a double standard. I guess I need to keep reading.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

My Project

I started reading the Goblin Market. I am thinking that a simple mesh bag out ot the cheap acrylic yarn I am ashamed of so hide in the closet would be great for this. The mesh bag will be a design on the go sort of thing. But first I have to finish a bit for my mom's cruise stole before starting anything else.

I appoligize if doing this is a No No. If it is, please feel free to throw countless balls of lace weight yarn at me!(VBG)

I am hosting a KAL for the "Tissue Tunic". Please check it out and if interested in joining in please email me (Caffinna at brightok dot net) for an official invitation. http://tissuetunic.blogspot.com/