Overlooking Camelot

clouded reverie
amidst steel spires’ warp and weft–
Lady of Shalott


photo prompt from Day 21 – Tell a story – Pen a poem – Write an essay – Sing a song – Create a title or caption

Favorite painting of Lady of Shalott–Waterhouse

Read Tennyson’s poem–The Lady of Shalott


About T A Smith

Just one of the literacy scholars on this site who wants to explore writing in all its complexities.
This entry was posted in Haiku, Poetry, Prompts and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to Overlooking Camelot

  1. catgirlslovehaiku says:

    This one is totally awesome.

  2. owlren says:

    Great interpretation of the inspiration image! (I am quite partial to Arthurian legend myself.) Have a most excellent holiday!

  3. I notice that you rewrote the haiku for your blog. In the original haiku, the second line is a little different.

    I read the Tennyson poem, and some discussions on what the historians think his poem is “about.”

    One interesting interpretation is the isolation of the artist Tennyson, from society. The distancing to be an artist – observing the world; or, breaking the mirror, and becoming a part of the world, etc. etc.

    I guess this was fascinating, since it’s been one of the main themes of my entire life.

    Thanks for an interesting ride…

    • Yousei Hime says:

      Ooooh. Thank you for the literary lesson. I love talking about these things. I’ve long enjoyed Tennyson, in particular, this poem. I like reading about the authors. It gives me a simple foundation for my readings. I’m reading a new book about Louisa May Alcott over the holidays. What a crazy family life she had! I hadn’t realized how closely connect her family was with R. W. Emerson, N. Hawthorne, H. D. Thoreau and other Transcendentalists. It’s been fun reading.

      You noticed that change! Cool. Yes, I decided I didn’t like the second line as well. I wanted a closer tie to the Tennyson poem. I’m afraid I side with the tower these days. I’d rather stay in with mirror in tact and keep my partnership with the world to a minimum. I confess I like the isolation most days.

      Take care and happy, happy holidays!

      • Well, I’m not sure it was much of a literary lesson, actually. I have to be extremely careful with everything I say, you know. My mother was an English professor, as I’ve told you. I may not have told you that her specialty and research area was the Transcendentalists. She had a picture of Thoreau in her office.

        I grew up having discussions with her about them. And now it’s amazing how little I really know.

        I’ve mostly chosen the tower, too, my entire life; having spun various kinds of webs. Now it’s a haiku web.

        Happy holidays, back to you, from one tower dweller to another.

        Oh I did go through my own King Arthur phase back about 25 years ago. I read “The Once and Future King” I believe. Well, it was very interesting!

        • Yousei Hime says:

          Wow, I don’t think you mentioned her specialty. Ironic. My father had a master’s degree in physics. He taught science and advanced math, Calculus. I don’t think I remember much beyond algebra, definitely not integrals and derivatives.

          Lol. I had years of a King Arthur phase. I loved (still do) “The Once and Future King.” Did you know the musical “Camelot” was loosely based on White’s book? I saw it in Houston years ago and Richard Harris played Arthur. He was too old for the part, but I was thrilled to see him anyway. I almost bought “L’Morte D’Arthur” for my husband for Christmas. I decided he’d be happier with the Tales of Robin Hood. 🙂

  4. Hiruta says:

    Yousei Hime San,

    thank you very much for your comment back.
    I’ve just read Tennyson’s poem, “The Lady of Shalott”.
    My first impression is that his poem is about ‘Liberation’.
    Men as well as women might have such a romantic yearning for their liberation from the ordinary world.
    But I have to read it again to get a full view of Tennyson’s poem.
    By the way, I’m going to post haiku by Mr. Marshall Hryciuk (Part 2) on January 9, 2010.
    This is because our network’s activities will be taken up as one of the special articles on the local neswpapers in Akita on New Year’s Day, so I’ll have to post haiku about Akita.
    I hope you’ll also be interested in these postings on December 26 and January 2.

    With my best wishes,
    Hidenori Hiruta

    • Yousei Hime says:

      Hiruta San,
      I am delighted that you read Tennyson’s poem. Are you familiar with the legends of King Arthur and his court in Camelot? If not, you might want to read, at your leisure, Sir Thomas Malory’s book Le Morte d’Arthur. There are many books, new and old, about King Arthur. Malory’s is one of the most widely read (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Le_Morte_d%27Arthur). The medieval knights are not unlike the samurai of Japan. Their similar adherence to codes of honor is probably why they are both so revered.

      I look forward to all your postings. They give me a glimpse into a place I hope to visit and into wonderful writing. Thank you for sharing them.

      Sincere regards,
      Yousei Hime

  5. Hiruta says:

    Yousei Hime San,

    thank you very much for answering my comment.
    By the way, did the picture mean ‘photo prompt from Day 21…?
    Or what is the picture to which the haiku was written in response?
    Would you please tell me about it when you have some time?
    Last of all, thank you again for such a nice comment on ‘Haiku by Mr. Marshall Hryciuk.

    With my best wishes,
    Hidenori Hiruta

    • Yousei Hime says:

      Hello Hirtua San! You are welcome. I enjoy trading comments with you. I apologize that the photo reference was unclear. It does mean “photo prompt from Day 21.” The link is attached to “photo prompt from Day 21 – Tell a story – Pen a poem – Write an essay – Sing a song – Create a title or caption” to a site called “Stories Without Words”. If you follow the link, it should take you to a photo of a red-headed girl leaning against a tv roof antena. My haiku references the British poet Tennyson’s poem, “The Lady of Shalott.”

      I look forward to Part 2 of Haiku by Mr. Marshall Hryciuk.

      Yousei Hime

  6. Oh my goodness, I can totally see it! Especially the way there’s that system of lines stretching out behind her… “but in her web she still delights”, indeed. Excellent modern interpretation.

    Lady of Shallott is one of my favorite poems as well; I actually got introduced to it through the Loreena McKennitt adaptation (don’t know if that’s what you meant by the musical version). Heard it live in one of the great experiences of my life.

    • Yousei Hime says:

      McKennit’s song is exactly the reference I was making. I love her music, especially how she has some literary based piece on every album. You are very fortunate to have heard her live. I always liked the Tennyson poem, but liked the story even more after hearing McKennit’s song version. Thanks for the compliment.

      • I’m listening to her Christmas albums and watching the snow right now. 😉

        And I caved, and did the Haiku Bones thing. You’re a bad influence! 😛

        • Yousei Hime says:

          I’ve got that album too. I don’t listen to her “publicly” in our house. Anytime a song comes on my husband doesn’t know/like he’ll say, “Is that Loreena McKennit?” I think I’ll torture him today with her Christmas album and some other Celtic styled music. (Evil snickering)

          Of course you did the Haiku Bones. How can you resist cramming tons of meaning into 17 syllables? 😉 Hope you’re enjoying your holidays.

  7. Sandy says:

    Love that middle line, good poem.

  8. lesliepaints says:

    Fits perfect, Yousei, like a glove! Thank-you.

  9. Technobabe says:

    Nice going. I like the time of knights and ladies.

  10. Julie says:

    I love your poem, Yousei. It goes so well with the picture. I was drawn to her hair…how beautiful! It does feel like the Lady of Shallot. I also love the contrast of the “old fashioned” image and your second line. Beautiful work!

    • Yousei Hime says:

      Thank you, Julie. I’ve seen the Lady of Shalott in many different forms–poem, art, song. I have loved them all. It was a great opportunity to add my own touch. Glad you liked it.

  11. Hiruta says:

    Yosei Hime San,

    very fantastic and expressive!
    Very nice at selecting words used in haiku, leading to the poetic atmosphere.

    With my best regards,
    Hidenori Hiruta

    • Yousei Hime says:

      Thank you, Hiruta San. You honor me. I revised this haiku many times before I was satisfied. Did you see the picture to which the haiku was written in response? It reminded me of pre-Raphaelite art and John Waterhouse’s painting of the The Lady of Shalott.

  12. kseverny says:

    very potent. great for a haiku

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