Gloire De Dijon Roses

Peachy Rose

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?

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October 1, 2007. Inspiration.

10 Comments

  1. Lady Julianne Eternity replied:

    That is a very beautiful poem. I’d never read it before, thank you for sharing it. The imagery is really clear and elegant.

  2. amypalko replied:

    You should try reading it out loud, Lady Julianne. The words seem to fit together seamlessly, and they just roll off the tongue. I have lots of favourite poems, and this is definitely one of them!

  3. sharlotte replied:

    I love your photo – it made me smile as soon as I looked at your blog. Thank you brining a smile to my face whilst at work.

  4. amypalko replied:

    You are so welcome, my darling! Did you see the photos from Saturday? Thank you so much for inviting us along. I really enjoyed our visit! Hope work wasn’t too boring.

  5. Celticangel replied:

    What sort of Rose is the one at the top? It’s lovely, too.

    And no, I had not read this poem before. It’s amazing how love can be captured in a few short lines, and still shine so brightly even when we are gone, isn’t it?

  6. amypalko replied:

    To be honest, I’m not sure, Celticangel. It is lovely though, isn’t it?
    It is amazing how love immortalized in art can still seem so shiny and new. Although this poem was written almost a hundred years ago, there seems to be a freshness and a modernity about it. Don’t you think?

  7. tobeme replied:

    I love this poem! I am warmed by the soft love that it speaks of. A simple and pure love that holds the writer entranced and invites the reader to peek behind closed doors. Beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

  8. Celticangel replied:

    Yes. It does seem very modern. Plus, you can almost feel the author smiling.

  9. Wolfie replied:

    Hello..I tagged u (in my blog)..do join in..

  10. amypalko replied:

    Thank you, tobeme. It’s precisely that invited intimacy that makes me love this poem so much!

    You can feel Lawrence smiling, can’t you, Celtic Angel?

    OK, Wolfie. I’ll give it my best shot!

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