Thursday, November 6, 2008

A Master Piece of Dramatic Monologue...

One of my favorite poems of Robert Browning. The beauty of this poem is, it is very different from the conventional courtious poetry at that time of the victorian era. It is built based on the concept of Dramatic Monologue. There is only one person speaking but another one who is a silent listener. Smooth reading, simple language and very attractive. We ourselves become the silent listener in the poem. I am sure you will enjoy this one....

My Last Duchess

That's my last Duchess painted on the wall,
Looking as if she were alive. I call
That piece a wonder, now: Frà Pandolf's hands
Worked busily a day, and there she stands.
Will't please you sit and look at her? I said"
Frà Pandolf" by design, for never read
Strangers like you that pictured countenance,
The depth and passion of its earnest glance,
But to myselfthey turned (since none puts by
The curtain I have drawn for you, but
And seemed as they would ask me, if they durst,
How such a glance came there; so, not the first
Are you to turn and ask thus. Sir, 'twas not
Her husband's presence only, called that spot
Of joy into the Duchess' cheek: perhaps
Frà Pandolf chanced to say "Her mantle laps
Over my Lady's wrist too much," or "Paint
Must never hope to reproduce the faint
Half-flush that dies along her throat": such stuff
Was courtesy, she thought, and cause enough
For calling up that spot of joy. She had
A heart — how shall I say? — too soon made glad,
Too easily impressed; she liked whate'er
She looked on, and her looks went everywhere.
Sir, 'twas all one! My favour at her breast,
The dropping of the daylight in the West,
The bough of cherries some officious fool
Broke in the orchard for her, the white mule
She rode with round the terrace — all and each
Would draw from her alike the approving speech,
Or blush, at least. She thanked men, — good! but thanked
Somehow — I know not how — as if she ranked
My gift of a nine-hundred-years-old name
With anybody's gift. Who'd stoop to blame
This sort of trifling? Even had you skill
In speech — (which I have not) — to make your will
Quite clear to such an one, and say, "Just this
Or that in you disgusts me; here you miss,
Or there exceed the mark" — and if she let
Herself be lessoned so, nor plainly set
Her wits to yours, forsooth, and made excuse,
--E'en then would be some stooping, and I choose
Never to stoop. Oh sir, she smiled, no doubt,
Whene'er I passed her; but who passed without
Much the same smile? This grew; I gave commands;
Then all smiles stopped together. There she stands
As if alive. Will't please you rise? We'll meet
The company below, then. I repeat,
The Count your master's known munificence
Is ample warrant that no just pretence
Of mine for dowry will be disallowed;
Though his fair daughter's self, as I avowed
At starting, is my object. Nay, we'll go
Together down, sir. Notice Neptune, though,
Taming a sea-horse, thought a rarity,
Which Claus of Innsbruck cast in bronze for me!


Madhava said...

what is the use of publishing 'popular' poems like this. Write something on it...

kanasu said...

sure boss! but had slight issues with the dear pal called "time" but still wanted to post... :)

and also thought its also a good idea to introduce nice poems...

thanks for ur suggestion..i'll make a note on it.

sunaath said...

Please DO publish such songs because many like me have never read such beautiful English poems.
However, a little explanation is necessary.
For instance, who is Claus of Innsbruck?

That a such a lengthy poem of a monologue can be written is a new thing to me.

kanasu said...

Thank ka ka.. :)
I felt happy that my idea of introducing new poems has actually worked...
Hence fourth i shall make a point to give a brief note on the poem.

"Claus of Innsbruck" is an imaginary sculptor created by Browning himself.

dinesh said...

ತುಂಬಾ ಒಳ್ಳೆಯ ಕವನ ಪ್ರಕಟಿಸಿದ್ದೀರಿ. ಜೊತೆಗೆ ವಿವರಣೆ ಇದ್ದರೆ ಚೆನ್ನವಿತ್ತು.

kanasu said...

yes dinesh i think its a good idea to do it now...i shall