After finishing my first ‘proper’ essay as a university student, I think that my obsessive allegiance has shifted once again to 19th century literature.
As a poetry lover, my main preferences have always been the morbidly alluring tones of Edgar Allan Poe. But after studying Robert Browning, I have a new appreciation for the dramatic monologue and the impression of insanity cleverly used to mask the social statement.
I am attempting to do this within my writing but I think that for a lot of writers, including myself, these assumptions and hidden meanings are always discovered by another, not the writer. As if people a hundred years from now will be interpreting the subconscious in my writing.
With that in mind, I give you: –
Porphyria’s Lover – Consequence
Within the confines of this dank dim time,
Beats the unfathomed heart.
This heart, as is known, belongs to a man,
A man death denied long ago.
To be specific, hinting on the horrific,
This man is skinless and bone.
Behind the caged mouth of this ivory king,
There is remnants of a lover’s soul.
In vain of heart it would be to say
This soul is untouched with crime.
But grim lies thick, suffocating this,
smothering his, devoured bliss.
Now a lady there was, of course
Her life was lusted by the sallow and
faded. Her hair tussled down to the stones.
She came in a fluster, with a stormy aroma and
took his head to her breast. A lady she was
In a house by the park, servants at her knee.
The cottage was crippled, riddled with gutter foul,
Too was she to uphold this duplicitous life.
One note, one sound is all it took, for Porphyria
to die. Head drooped, blood loosed and
the man sat alone.
God said no word that night,
But kept the man alive in spite.
No hell for the murderer, only hell for Porphyria.
Her lover, forever, rots in the cellar of history’s hall.
A sequel, if you like, to Browning’s dramatic monologue Porphyria’s Lover. If you haven’t read it, a brief summary is that Porphyria comes to her lover in the middle of a storm and he strangles her with her own hair in a moment of passion. The real observations are more complex but I don’t want to deprive people of poetic interpretation.