Today is a typical dark and cloudy winter day...it begs for some Bronte sisters. As I mentioned before, I am an avid reader of all 3 sisters, but Emily has to be my favorite. I am sure many, like me, have sighed deeply, even shed a few tears, while reading and re-reading the passionate lines of "Wuthering Heights," but I also happen to find many things in common with Emily in particular. For one thing, she had a boxer dog! My husband and I own a boxer fawn, named Bucky. She preferred/trusted animals over people...I sometimes feel the same way, hehe. She loved the darkness and moodiness of the Moors, and used it as her backdrop for the book. And as you already may know, I gravitate towards dark and moody. She was a fire sign like I in the zodiac, if that really means much, but it could explain the fierce and fiery intensity present in her only novel. She loved to write, read, and draw, and so do I. Also, she was a teacher and I am now studying to become one. We both tried our hand at piano and we both feel a strong connection to nature. I'd like to share one of my favorite poems by Emily. Besides her book, this is the second most powerful piece of writing I have come across by her. It is about a lost love - very dark, emotional, sad, and moody. Hope you enjoy it as much as I have...
Cold in the earth -- and the deep snow piled above thee,
Far, far removed, cold in the dreary grave!
Have I forgot, my only Love, to love thee,
Severed at last by Time's all-severing wave?
Now, when alone, do my thoughts no longer hover
Over the mountains, on that northern shore,
Resting their wings where heath and fern leaves cover
Thy noble heart forever, ever more?
Cold in the earth -- and fifteen wild Decembers,
From those brown hills, have melted into spring;
Faithful, indeed, is the spirit that remembers
After such years of change and suffering!
Sweet Love of youth, forgive, if I forget thee,
While the world's tide is bearing me along;
Other desires and other hopes beset me,
Hopes which obscure, but cannot do thee wrong!
No later light has lightened up my heaven,
No second morn has ever shone for me;
All my life's bliss from thy dear life was given,
All my life's bliss is in the grave with thee.
But, when the days of golden dreams had perished,
And even Despair was powerless to destroy,
Then did I learn how existence could be cherished,
Strengthened, and fed without the aid of joy.
Then did I check the tears of useless passion --
Weaned my young soul from yearning after thine;
Sternly denied its burning wish to hasten
Down to that tomb already more than mine.
And, even yet, I dare not let it languish,
Dare not indulge in memory's rapturous pain;
Once drinking deep of that divinest anguish,
How could I seek the empty world again?
-- Emily Bronte
I could see a few striking similarities to 'Wuthering Heights' with this poem, can you? For one thing, it is about the death of a beloved person and much like Heathcliff strongly grieved over the death of his soulmate Catherine, the protagonist in this poem, grieves over his/her beloved. It is fiercely passionate and dark - yet the character in it knows the dangers of unchecked passion, which sadly Heathcliff and Catherine knew not. Yet, the poem is very versatile in that it can apply to and even be used as a source of strength for a mother who lost her child, a person who lost their best friend, and other relationships. It does not fail to lose its power or its message each time I read it.
Do you have any favorite writers or poems in particular? I'd love to know anyone else's thoughts on Emily's or other writers' work.