Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Lady of Shalott

Vogue 2011

Under tower and balcony,
By garden-wall and gallery,
A gleaming shape she floated by,
Dead-pale between the houses high,
Silent into Camelot.
                                                                    from The Lady of Shalott
                                                                    by Lord Alfred Tennyson

A friend was listening to the Band Perry, a sister and two brothers, while we were driving to brunch on Sunday. I remembered seeing their music video on VH1 and thinking ... the Lady of Shalott.

Their song goes:

If I die young bury me in satin
Lay me down on a bed of roses
Sink me in the river at dawn
Send me away with the words of love ....

And then I remembered the beautiful editorial in November 2011 Vogue of Rooney Mara, the actor of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I haven't seen the movie, but I have seen stills of her in costume, and I was wowed by the contrast of the Vouge pictures. Mara is the antithesis of what her character I am led to think is.

In my hours today, I couldn't help but wander to the vision of the damsel floating beautifully in a river that just as well be of her tears. Love has not found her in life, but in death. It is a darkly romantic notion. How many times have jilted or unrequited loves felt that if only they disappeared, the beloved would mourn the absence of what could have been if only it had been found.

Found. How is that spell cast? I too have seen 'the helmet and the plume' of a prince; my mirror has cracked and I am so too doomed. Oh! wicked March with your lion's coming, I am a lamb that cannot stand the roar. I want not sink in a river at dawn, rather I find that I want to nuzzle in a furry mane all of the hours of light and dark. I'll paint my lips red and wear a gown of satin. Water will not freeze my lungs, and I will hold on until I find my Camelot.

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