As an English major in college, I read a lot and had a ton of classes, naturally. And I can remember most of them: English Lit from the Renaissance to the Restoration, English Lit from the Restoration to the Romantics, English Lit of the Victorian and Modern Periods, American Lit to the rise of Realism, Shakespeare, Technical Writing, Chaucer (my least favorite and most scary. In fact, I had to employ a dear friend of mine to help me write my final 25-page paper because it gave me so much anxiety), etc. The list goes on and on.
My point is that I've been thinking about my favorite stories, poems and plays from college --- the ones I fell in love with because they were so beautiful they made me cry and feel totally at peace, all at the same time. I remember my Shakespeare class and how the British professor would read sonnets and plays aloud. I'm sure his accent had a lot to do with it, but there were many moments when I felt like crying because the stories were so magical. I miss those moments. I mean, the last book I read for pleasure was the last one of the Twilight Saga. Yep. Guilty. I need more reading for pleasure in my life. It's got to happen. What do you recommend?
Here's my favorite poem from my favorite poet, Robert Browning. It's a little abnormal psychology-esque, but I like it.
The rain set early in tonight,
The sullen wind was soon awake,
It tore the elm-tops down for spite,
and did its worst to vex the lake:
I listened with heart fit to break.
When glided in Porphyria; straight
She shut the cold out and the storm,
And kneeled and made the cheerless grate
Blaze up, and all the cottage warm;
Which done, she rose, and from her form
Withdrew the dripping cloak and shawl,
And laid her soiled gloves by, untied
Her hat and let the damp hair fall,
And, last, she sat down by my side
And called me. When no voice replied,
She put my arm about her waist,
And made her smooth white shoulder bare,
And all her yellow hair displaced,
And, stooping, made my cheek lie there,
And spread, o’er all, her yellow hair,
Murmuring how she loved me—she
Too weak, for all her heart’s endeavor,
To set its struggling passion free
From pride, and vainer ties dissever,
And give herself to me forever.
But passion sometimes would prevail,
Nor could tonight’s gay feast restrain
A sudden thought of one so pale
For love of her, and all in vain:
So, she was come through wind and rain.
Be sure I looked up at her eyes
Happy and proud; at last I knew
Porphyria worshiped me: surprise
Made my heart swell, and still it grew
While I debated what to do.
That moment she was mine, mine, fair,
Perfectly pure and good: I found
A thing to do, and all her hair
In one long yellow string I wound
Three times her little throat around,
And strangled her. No pain felt she;
I am quite sure she felt no pain.
As a shut bud that holds a bee,
I warily oped her lids: again
Laughed the blue eyes without a stain.
And I untightened next the tress
About her neck; her cheek once more
Blushed bright beneath my burning kiss:
I propped her head up as before
Only, this time my shoulder bore
Her head, which droops upon it still:
The smiling rosy little head,
So glad it has its utmost will,
That all it scorned at once is fled,
And I, its love, am gained instead!
Porphyria’s love: she guessed not how
Her darling one wish would be heard.
And thus we sit together now,
And all night long we have not stirred,
And yet God has not said a word!