This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Saturday Rave: Love and Friendship by Emily Jane Bronte

The lives and novels of the Brontë family are very well known, of course, but here are a few facts about Emily's career as a poet.

The only poems published in her lifetime was in an 1846 volume of poems by herself and her sisters Charlotte and Ann, published under the pseudonyms Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell (you can tell who was who from the initials. It was also eldest first.). 

It sold two copies.

Charlotte published seventeen more of Emily's poems at the end of the last volume of Wuthering Heights, but Charlotte revised them very heavily indeed, even to the point of putting in new verses of her own.

Charlotte's widower sold all Emily's papers and they were quickly scattered and some of them may have been lost.

Even if you did manage to see one of Emily's poems, her handwriting was so tiny and terrible that the chances are you wouldn't be able to read it. 

Anyway, here, in large clear type, is Emily Brontë's Love and Friendship. She's not a poet you go to for great cheer, but this poem is about as close to upbeat a one as I could find.

Love is like a wild rose-briar,
Friendship like the holly-tree -
The holly is dark when the rose-briar blooms
But which will bloom most constantly?
The wild-rose briar is sweet in spring,
Its summer blossoms scent the air;
Yet wait till winter comes again
And who will call the wild-briar fair?
Then scorn the silly rose-wreath now
And deck thee with the holly's sheen,
That when December blights thy brow
He may still leave thy garland green.

Word To Use Today: briar, This seems to be a 1800s word from the French bruyère, heath, from the Latin brūcus, from a Gaulish word.

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