Gloire De Dijon Roses
This is not a photograph of a Gloire de Dijon Rose (for that, click here), but when I saw it, it reminded me of that wonderful poem by D.H. Lawrence. Do you know it?
Gloire de Dijon – D.H. Lawrence
When she rises in the morning
I linger to watch her;
She spreads the bath-cloth underneath the window
And the sunbeams catch her
Glistening white on the shoulders,
While down her sides the mellow
Golden shadow glows as
She stoops to the sponge, and her swung breasts
Sway like full-blown yellow
Gloire de Dijon roses.
She drips herself with water, her shoulders
Glisten as silver, they crumple up
Like wet and falling roses, and I listen
For the sluicing of their rain-dishevelled petals.
In the window full of sunlight
Concentrates her golden shadow
Fold on fold, until it glows as
Mellow as the glory roses.
Isn’t that a beautiful poem! Lawrence wrote it for Frieda von Richthofen, the love of his life, and it was included in the collection Look! We Have Come Through! (1912). In the anthology of poetry where I first read this poem (Daisy Goodwin’s Essential Poems to Fall in Love With), it states that Aldous Huxley commented that reading the poems in this collection was like “opening the wrong bedroom door”, and that Bertrand Russell exclaimed “they may have come through, but I don’t see why I should look”. There is something about this poem that makes me feel privy to an intimate domesticity infused with love and sensuality. For some at the time, like Huxley and Russell, this exposure of intimacy was clearly viewed with embarrassment, but I think now, in these days of explicit sex and violence, we see it as an expression of tender adoration. I, for one, feel very fortunate to have opened the wrong bedroom door!
Do you like it as much as I do?