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Sonnet XCI. Lost on Both Sides.

Sonnet XCI. Lost on Both Sides.

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Appendix One



229



corrected so many dating blunders in the work of Oswald Doughty

and J. R. Wahl, I offer in this edition the most complete and accurate

set of documented dates that I could compile after my research on

primary materials (see Appendix Seven, Locations of Sources). Dates of

composition and publication, with documentation where available,

are given for each sonnet in the Text and Notes section. It may be

argued, however, that in the light of Rossetti’s habit of massive

revision, certain sonnets may be said to have more than one date of

composition (e.g., Sonnet 69, Autumn Idleness).

In the table that follows forty-four sonnets are dated from external

evidence. A few of them have MS dates in the hand of the poet, his

brother or Jane Morris, to whom many poems were sent in letters.

More appeared as enclosures or in the texts of Rossetti’s letters; the

Doughty-Wahl Letters (DW), however flawed, is a primary source of

dates, as is the Bryson-Troxell Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Jane Morris:

Their Correspondence. J. R. Wahl’s discussion of dating in his edition of

The Kelmscott Love Sonnets of Dante Gabriel Rossetti is especially pertinent

to The House of Life, dealing as it does with some thirty sonnets the

poet wrote while living with Jane Morris at Kelmscott Manor during

the summer of 1871. Nearly all of them wound up in the House.

For forty-three sonnets where there are no documents to date their

composition and no evidence contradicts them, I have accepted

William’s dates in Works. For fourteen other undocumented sonnets I

have preferred my own calculations to William’s dates based on a

terminus ad quem derived from a sonnet’s initial appearance in one of

the Proof States of Poems (see Appendix Two). For example, William

dates Sonnet 82, Hoarded Joy, 1870, but it appears in Proof State 3 of

Poems, pulled around 13 September 1869, so it was obviously composed

before that date. For two sonnets, Inclusiveness (63) and Lost Days (86),

dating is uncertain. I have changed twenty-eight of William’s dates in

Works and twenty-eight of Fredeman’s dates given in the Appendix

to his ‘Rossetti’s In Memoriam’ (Fredeman 1965: 335–41).

The following table gives all the sonnets arranged chronologically

in groups according to their known or presumed year of composition

(more precise dates are given in the Notes to individual sonnets),

identified with their 1881 numbers (in Arabic; 1870 numbers in

Roman) and titles followed by brief references to documentation. All

citations of Works refer to William’s edition of 1911; Poems means

Rossetti’s collection of 1870.



230

Year



The House of Life

1881 No. 1881 Title



1847

1847–48



90

71–73

75



“Retro Me Sathana”

The Choice I–III

Old and New Art II.

Not As These



1848



76



1849



74



1850



69



Old and New Art III.

The Husbandmen

Old and New Art I.

St. Luke The Painter

Autumn Idleness



1852

1853



47

65

70

15

67

91

68

86



Broken Music

Known in Vain

The Hill Summit

The Birth Bond

The Landmark

Lost on Both Sides

A Dark Day

Lost Days



1854



1855

?1858–

62

?1860

1864–65

1866

1868



63

78

77

10

49–52

99–100

1868–69 97



Inclusiveness

Body’s Beauty

Soul’s Beauty

The Portrait

Willowwood

Newborn Death

A Superscription



1869



Bridal Birth

Love’s Testament

Lovesight

The Kiss

Nuptial Sleep

Love’s Lovers

Winged Hours

The Love-Moon

The Morrow’s Message

Sleepless Dreams

Secret Parting



2

3

4

6

6a

8

25

37

38

39

45



Documentation

Works 657

FLM 108

Aldrich MS note by

WMR; Works 656;

see Notes

Huntington HM6086a

Huntington HM6086a

Fitzwilliam HL MS fol.

84a

Huntington HM6081a

Duke MS XXVI fol. 27a

WMR ClassLists 8

WEF 54.57

Huntington HM6081a

WEF 54.55

WEF 55.4 & 6

DGRDW 293; Works;

Prideaux 1904: 464;

see Notes

DGRDW 293; see Notes

DGRDW 293, 145

DGRDW 55–6

Works

WMR MS Diary 19 Dec 68

WEF 68.120

Works; RP 380 (MS Diary

24 Jan 69)

Works

Works

Works

Works

Works

WEF 69.86

Works

Works

Works

Works

Works



Appendix One

Year

1869



1870



1871



1881 No. 1881 Title

46

48



Parted Love

Death-in-Love



84

85



Farewell to the Glen

Vain Virtues



95

92

82

87

7

55

9

23

101

16

36

11

79

83

21

98

14

12

22

34

41

1

5

13

17

18

19

20

26

27

28

29

30

31



The Vase of Life

The Sun’s Shame I

Hoarded Joy

Death’s Songsters

Supreme Surrender

Stillborn Love

Passion and Worship

Love’s Baubles

The One Hope

A Day of Love

Life-in-Love

The Love-Letter

The Monochord

Barren Spring

Love-Sweetness

He and I

Youth’s Spring Tribute

The Lovers’ Walk

Heart’s Haven

The Dark Glass

Through Death to Love

Love Enthroned

Heart’s Hope

Youth’s Antiphony

Beauty’s Pageant

Genius in Beauty

Silent Noon

Gracious Moonlight

Mid-Rapture

Heart’s Compass

Soul-Light

The Moonstar

Last Fire

Her Gifts



231

Documentation

WEF 69.136

Fitzwilliam HL MS fol.

109b

WEF 69.186

RP 386 (MS Diary

18 Mar 69)

Works

Poems: Proof State 2

Poems: Proof State 2

Poems: Proof State 3

Poems: Proof State 4

Poems: Proof State 4

Poems: Proof State 6

Poems: Proof State 6

WEF 70.36

Poems: Proof State 14

Poems: Proof State 14

Poems: Proof State 15

Poems: Proof State 15

Poems: Proof State 15

Poems: Proof State 16

Poems: Proof State 16

Works

WEF 71.123

WEF 71.123

WEF 71.123

WEF 71.123

Works

Works

Works

Works

Works

Works

Works

Works

Works

Works

Works

Works

Works



232

Year

1871



1873



1875

1879

1880



The House of Life

1881 No. 1881 Title

32

33

35

40

42

43

44

53

54

59

80

62

66

81

93

96

88

89

64

Proem

24

56

60

57–58

61

94



Equal Troth

Venus Victrix

The Lamp’s Shrine

Severed Selves

Hope Overtaken

Love and Hope

Cloud and Wind

Without Her

Love’s Fatality

Love’s Last Gift

From Dawn to Noon

The Soul’s Sphere

The Heart of the Night

Memorial Thresholds

The Sun’s Shame II

Life the Beloved

Hero’s Lamp

The Trees of the Garden

Ardour and Memory

Sonnet on The Sonnet

Pride of Youth

True Woman I

Transfigured Life

True Woman II, III

The Song-Throe

Michelangelo’s Kiss



Documentation

Works

Works

Works

Works

Works

Works

Works

Works

Works

Works

WEF 71.153

Works

Works

Works

Works

Works

Works

Works

WEF 79.217

WEF 80.40

WEF 80.383; DGRDW 171

WEF 80.352

WEF 80.352

WEF 80.375

FLM 368

WEF 80.389



The preceding table shows that fifty-nine of the 103 sonnets were

composed by 1870 and forty-four afterwards. Fifteen sonnets date

from before 1860, four were written between 1860 and 1866 and forty

were composed during 1868–70. After the publication of Poems in

mid-April 1870, twenty-eight new sonnets were written in 1871,

seven during 1873–75 and nine in 1879–80. Sixty-eight sonnets belong

to the years 1868–71.

Many inferences may be drawn from this table. Late sonnets were

used early in the sequence and vice versa. No striking unity of subject,

tone or image seems to be discernible in groups of sonnets composed

within one year. For example, The Birth Bond (15), The Landmark (67)

and Lost on Both Sides (91) were all written in 1854, but to what extent



Appendix One



233



is this fact apparent from the texts of these poems? In 1868, Rossetti

composed The Portrait (10), Willowwood (49–52), A Superscription (97)

and Newborn Death (99–100); apologists for autobiography as the key

to understanding this sequence must expect the reader to believe that

Rossetti lived through the emotions expressed in these eight sonnets

in a single year.

The 1870 group covers themes and moods from the entire sequence,

from ecstasy in Youth’s Spring Tribute (14) to despair in Barren Spring

(83) to prayerful faith in The One Hope (101); from playfulness in The

Love-Letter (11) to profundity in The Monochord (79). The 1871 group is

not single-toned, even though it consists mainly of poems composed

during one summer in one place, the so-called Kelmscott love

sonnets. When they are arranged according to 1881 sequential

number, these twenty-eight sonnets suggest the history of erotic

passion turned to death-in-life and despair, concluding with a hope

of redemption through art. They are not, however, a microcosm of

the sequence because they lack the two extremes of the poet’s vision:

the heaven of True Woman (56–58), for those who follow the ideal of

Soul’s Beauty (77), and the hell of Willowwood (49–52), for those who

worship the idol of Body’s Beauty (78) – false woman.

There is some evidence from these dates that the idea of The House

of Life developed chronologically. What many readers have seen as

the nucleus of the sequence, the germinal sonnets, were written

during 1868–69 just before the publication in March 1869 of the

Fortnightly Review group of sixteen sonnets, ‘Of Life, Love and Death.’

This title appeared, cancelled, above the text of Broken Music (47) on

an 1850s MS (see Note 3. on that sonnet), but Rossetti’s urge to create

a sequence of sonnets ‘towards a work to be called The House of Life’

seems not to have crystallized for another fifteen years.

Willowwood (49–52) and Newborn Death (99–100), with which the

group of sixteen opened and closed, are the poet’s most dramatic

presentations of erotic passion as a Thanatic illusion and of

individual mortality as that which imposes shape and meaning on

human existence. The Vase of Life (95), entitled Run and Won in 1869,

expresses the aspirations and fate of the artist in terms similar to

those evident in the last sonnet Rossetti wrote for the House –

Michelangelo’s Kiss (94). As he was ordering both the 1870 and 1881

versions of the sequence, the very early sonnets, laden with Biblicalapocalyptic imagery, may have struck him as still appropriate (with

some revision) to the struggle of the artist against time, a major

theme of the concluding section of the sequence in both versions.

The nine sonnets written and added in 1880 seem to have been

conceived with the entire sequence in mind. Pride of Youth (24)



234



The House of Life



highlights the opposition, central to the sequence, between the Old

Love and the New Love. The proem-sonnet, which opens the

sequence, and Transfigured Love (60) and The Song-Throe (61), which

open its second part, are all concerned with poetics. While True

Woman (56–58) and Michelangelo’s Kiss (94) (together with Soul’s

Beauty and Body’s Beauty {77–78}, added though not written in 1880),

provide an overview, an encapsulation of what the poet has said in

The House of Life, these three sonnets about sonnets express how the

poet has conveyed his meaning.



II

The next table provides an opportunity to compare the three

published arrangements of House of Life sonnets together with

tentative alternative ordering considered by the poet. On the far left

is the date of composition of each sonnet. The next two columns give

the 1881 numbers and titles as they appeared in the first edition of

Ballads and Sonnets. The fourth column provides the 1870 numbers,

and the far right column indicates numbering within the 1869

collection of 16 sonnets published in the Fortnightly Review. An

Arabic number or numbers in parentheses following an 1881 number

means that there is MS evidence that while he was ordering the final

version of the sequence, Rossetti considered placing this sonnet in the

position(s) indicated. This evidence is drawn mainly from the

Fitzwilliam MSS, where he numbered the sonnets in pencil on the

upper left of each leaf: when he changed a number, he drew a single

stroke through it without obliterating it. Some sonnets have as many

as four cancelled numbers while others were never altered. Similar

evidence has been taken from the Bancroft (DAM) MSS and various

letters in which Rossetti discussed ordonnance in The House of Life.

The Proof States of 1869–70 and 1881 also show this experimentation

with sequence. The tables in sections III and IV record these changes.

Date

comp. 1881 No.



1881 Title



1880

1871

1869

1869

1869

1871



[no title]

Love Enthroned

Bridal Birth

Love’s Testament

Lovesight

Heart’s Hope



Proem-sonnet

I

II

III

IV (1)

V (1,4)



1870

No.



I

II

III



1869

No.



Appendix One

Date

comp. 1881 No.



1881 Title



1869

1869

1869

1869

1869

1868

1870

1871

1871

1870

1854

1870

1871

1871

1871

1871

1870

1871

1869

1880

1869

1871

1871

1871

1871

1871

1871

1871

1871

1871

1871

1870

1869

1869

1869

1871

1871

1871

1871



The Kiss

Nuptial Sleep

Supreme Surrender

Love’s Lovers

Passion and Worship

The Portrait

The Love-Letter

The Lovers’ Walk

Youth’s Antiphony

Youth’s Spring Tribute

The Birth-Bond

A Day of Love

Beauty’s Pageant

Genius in Beauty

Silent Noon

Gracious Moonlight

Love-Sweetness

Heart’s Haven

Love’s Baubles

Pride of Youth

Winged Hours

Mid-Rapture

Heart’s Compass

Soul-Light

The Moonstar

Last Fire

Her Gifts

Equal Troth

Venus Victrix

The Dark Glass

The Lamp’s Shrine

Life-in-Love

The Love-Moon

The Morrow’s Message

Sleepless Dreams

Severed Selves

Through Death to Love

Hope Overtaken

Love and Hope



VI

[VIa] restored by WMR

VII

VIII

IX

X

XI

XII (14)

XIII

XIV

XV (20, 22)

XVI (23)

XVII (18, 19)

XVIII (17, 20)

XIX (14, 15, 16)

XX (19, 21)

XXI

XXII (34, 35)

XXIII (16, 21)

XXIV (23, 25)

XXV (24)

XXVI

XXVII (25, 26, 28)

XXVIII (26, 27, 29, 33)

XXIX (32, 33)

XXX (29, 32)

XXXI

XXXII (27, 28, 29, 30)

XXXIII (34)

XXXIV (20, 21, 22)

XXXV (36)

XXXVI

XXXVII

XXXVIII

XXXIX

XL (41)

XLI (12, 36, 50)

XLII

XLIII



235

1870

No.



1869

No.



IV

V

VI

VII

VIII

IX

X



XI

XII



XIII

XIV

XV



IX



XVI

XVII

XVIII

XIX



V



236



The House of Life



Date

comp. 1881 No.

1871

1869

1869

1852

1869

1868

1868

1868

1868

1871

1871

1869

1880

1880

1880

1871

1880

1880

1873

?1860

1879

1853

1873

1854

1855

1850

1853

1847–

48

1847–

48

1847–

48

1849

1847–

48

1848

1866

1864–



1881 Title



1870

No.



XLIV

XLV

XLVI

XLVII

XLVIII

XLIX

L

LI

LII

LIII (54)

LIV (53)

LV

LVI (55, 57)

LVII (58)

LVIII (59)

LIX (56)

LX (80)

LXI (81)

LXII (60, 64)

LXIII (64, 69)

LXIV (62, 63)

LXV

LXVI (64, 73)

LXVII

LXVIII

LXIX

LXX (30, 50)

LXXI (77)



Cloud and Wind

Secret Parting

Parted Love

Broken Music

Death-in-Love

Willowwood I.

Willowwood II.

Willowwood III.

Willowwood IV.

Without Her

Love’s Fatality

Stillborn Love

True Woman I.

True Woman II.

True Woman III.

Love’s Last Gift

Transfigured Life

The Song-Throe

The Soul’s Sphere

Inclusiveness

Ardour and Memory

Known in Vain

The Heart of the Night

The Landmark

A Dark Day

Autumn Idleness

The Hill Summit

The Choice I.



LXXII (78)



The Choice II.



XXXVI



LXXIII (79)



The Choice III.



XXXVII



LXXIV (75, 77)

LXXV (76, 78)



Old and New Art I.

Old and New Art II.



LXXVI (77, 79)

LXXVII (76)

LXXVIII



Old and New Art III.

Soul’s Beauty

Body’s Beauty



XX

XXI

XXII

XXIII

XXIV

XXV

XXVI

XXVII



1869

No.



XI

I

II

III

IV



XXVIII



XXIX



XIV



XXX



XIII



XXXI

XXXII



X



XXXIII

XXXV



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