Poetry help?

I need to analyze the poem “Sea Spell” by Dante Gabriel Rossetti and the painting “Sea Spell” as well.

Anyone know good websites that analyze it, like symbolism, literacy devices, meanings, stuff like that.

Thanks, any help is greatly appreciated.
Her lute hangs shadowed in the apple-tree,
While flashing fingers weave the sweet-strung spell
Between its chords; and as the wild notes swell,
The sea-bird for those branches leaves the sea.
But to what sound her listening ear stoops she?
What netherworld gulf-whispers doth she hear,
In answering echoes from what planisphere,
Along the wind, along the estuary?
She sinks into her spell: and when full soon
Her lips move and she soars into her song,
What creatures of the midmost main shall throng
In furrowed self-clouds to the summoning rune,
Till he, the fated mariner, hears her cry,
And up her rock, bare breasted, comes to die?

Anything interesting you notice?

2 thoughts on “Poetry help?

  1. Notice the suggestions of something magical and enchanting in the music, in the very playing of the music: words like “sweet-strung spell” “netherworld gulf whispers” etc. The music seems to be mystically inspired doesn’t it?

    Something else to note, the final two lines are about sex, more specifically, orgasm. It’s a familiar convention from earlier French poetry, “la petite mort” or the little death, which wikipedia has a terrible stub article on. It comes from the popular belief that we only had a finite number or certain things (the orgasm being one of them) before we expired. So when the mariner comes “to die” on her “bare breasts” — well, i think i’ve sufficiently spelled it out for you.

    There’s still much more to talk about here, but I’m not going to do all your work for you, now am I?

  2. Her lute hangs shadowed in the apple-tree,
    While flashing fingers weave the sweet-strung spell
    Between its chords; and as the wild notes swell,
    The sea-bird for those branches leaves the sea.
    But to what sound her listening ear stoops she?
    What netherworld gulf-whispers doth she hear,
    In answering echoes from what planisphere,
    Along the wind, along the estuary?
    She sinks into her spell: and when full soon
    Her lips move and she soars into her song,
    What creatures of the midmost main shall throng
    In furrowed self-clouds to the summoning rune,
    Till he, the fated mariner, hears her cry,
    And up her rock, bare breasted, comes to die?

    Try to explore the links below.
    http://www.intergate.com/~canu/art/art4apr/art0409.html#rossetti

    good luck

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *