Wednesday, June 10, 2009

for elizabeth barrett browning (2)

for elizabeth barrett browning

love me pure, as muses do,
up the woodlands shady:
love me gaily, fast and true,
as a winsome lady.
writing poetry in a darkened
room confined to recumbent
position by a fall, not from grace,
but from a spirited stallion, yr
adversity combined with moral
strength, made u champion of the
suffering; combined with
intellectual acuity, made u
nonpareil defender of the
oppressed wherever u found
them. made u meld the epic
poem with the novel to write
eleven thousand lines of blank
verse, of aurora leigh, that
climbed & breached the
unscalable oak & ivy walls of
domestic english fiction &
sentimental verse, that excoriated
the conventional; that repudiated
patronizing patriarchy in good
queen vicky’s gardens. resisting
the complacently conventional
values imposed by yr despotic
father, much like yr heroine
aurora, u eloped with yr
poetlover robert after seducing
him with a poem, to birth a new
genre for the female writer; to
make a living as a poet; to write
some of the most beautiful lyrics
in english literature which
ruthlessly sacrificed some clarity
of expression to unconventional
rhymes & loose diction; to spew
forth passionate emotion. “how
do i love thee? let me count the
ways…” & u showed him, yr
adoring robert, who loved u in
spite of yr persistent infirmity,
by emerging healthy from yr
darkened room, by giving him a
son & after showering him with
all the love u had to give, dying
sweetly in his arms.

© Joseph McNair; 2009


  1. Tragedy and despair is what gives poetry its taste and this poem has the right amount of it.

  2. The great equalizer. This is what I call vindication.