Rosy Cole

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Rosy Cole was born and educated in the Shires of England. Her writing career started in her teens. Four apprentice works eventually led to publication of two novels. Life intervened, but she returned to authorship in 2004. She has worked as a Press Officer and Publisher's Reader. Among widespread interests, she lists history, opera, musicals, jazz, the arts, drawing and painting, gemmology, homoeopathy and alternative therapies. Theology also is an abiding interest. As a singer, she's performed alongside many renowned musicians and has run a music agency which specialised in themed 'words-and-music' programmes, bringing her two greatest passions together. Rosy's first book of poetry, THE TWAIN, Poems of Earth and Ether, was published in April 2012, National Poetry Month, and two other collections are in preparation. As well as the First and Second Books in the Berkeley Series, she has written several other historical titles and one of literary fiction. She is currently working on the Third Book in the Berkeley Series. All her books are now published under the New Eve imprint. Rosy lives in West Sussex with her son, Chris, and her Springador, Jack, who keeps a firm paw on the work-and-walkies schedule!

The Flower Of Me

John Brett - Elizabeth Barrett Browning

 

As a fledgling writer in the mid-seventies, I was a member of The Browning Society of London which met regularly in rooms at St Marylebone Parish Church where Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning made their clandestine vows. It was, and still is, my ambition to write a novel about them. The tale is well-worn, but glitters and gleams with so many interesting facets that I believe there is room for at least one more. Since vintage years have begun to loom and life has furnished some pertinent insights, I feel better qualified to attempt the venture!

It isn't a project I shall be free to begin yet awhile, but the story of Mary Cole winds up in the Victorian era and I hope to continue writing about those times in a European context.

The destinies of the two poets collided a few months after the Countess of Berkeley died. Coincidentally, Lady Ashburton, who later gave enthusiastic recitals of Mr Browning's work, (and even proposed to him after they were both widowed) was connected to Mary posthumously through the marriage of her sister, Susan, with Charles Baring, her  ladyship's kinsman. Indeed, Louisa Ashburton's father-in-law, the 1st Baron Ashburton, had proposed to Susan Cole in America and had been accepted. He sent to England for his cousin, Charles, to draw up the nuptial agreement whereupon the fast fellow promptly fell head-over-heels in love and snaffled her himself! Susan had already enjoyed a string of distinguished lovers and had buried a husband, but soon settled down to a long and eventful life at Flat Rock, North Carolina, where her generous eccentricities were fully indulged and appreciated. She died one week before Robert and Elizabeth were married in the same church she had wed her first husband, James Heyward, half-brother of the American Independence signatory, Thomas Heyward.

Despite the limitations imposed by Elizabeth's health, the Brownings boasted a coruscating circle of friends and were at the hub of all that was avant-garde in the Arts, Philosophy and Politics. They numbered among their friends Mary Russell Mitford, Thomas Carlyle, George Sand and Frederic Chopin, Gerard Manley Hopkins to name a fine few. Browning was a cordial socialite, but it was his wife who was celebrated as the poet.

Entering their world again recently, I sought out a quotation written by Elizabeth when Browning was first suing to visit her after receiving his first volume of her poems.

What strikes is the sheer modesty of female writers of the day and Elizabeth was true to form. If inclined to an excess of humility, she speaks the truth of the matter as regards the creative process. It is a far remove from the culture of conflated idolatry we know now. I love it.

"There is nothing to see in me; nor to hear in me.--I never learned to talk as you do in London... If my poetry is worth anything to any eye, it is the flower of me. I have lived most and been most happy in it, and so it has all my colours; the rest of me is nothing but a root, fit for the ground and dark."

 Arthur Hughes - A scene from Aurora Leigh

Copyright

© © Rosy Cole 2009, 2014

Recent Comments
Stephen Evans
It is a fascinating image - the artist as root, the work as flower. Or maybe the artist as air and the work as balloon - once comp... Read More
Friday, 12 December 2014 18:58
Rosy Cole
That, too, is an interesting image, Steve. We mature as people and as writers when we let our creations go and allow them to stand... Read More
Sunday, 14 December 2014 10:44
Anonymous
"...an excess of humility..."! Who could be accused of that today? Sometimes I think you lived through the Victorian era and even ... Read More
Friday, 12 December 2014 19:55
2226 Hits
10 Comments

Long Expected

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Between the Horizon and the Foreground
lies the focus of perspective.

Between the Idea and the Vision
lies undaunted faith and a steady eye.

Between the lamp and the flame
lies the replenished oil.

Between the Servant and the Master
lies humility and undying trust.

Between the Crisis and Deliverance
lies providence and disguised blessing.

Between the Winter and the Spring
lies the Epiphany.

Between Paradise Lost and New Jerusalem
lies perpetual Renewal.

Between the Messenger and the Nativity
lies incarnation within a human frame.

Between the Father and the Son
lies an earthly Mother's love.

Between the Desire and the Arrival
lies the fusion of the spheres.

 

 

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from The Twain, Poems of Earth and Ether

Copyright

© © Rosy Cole 2009, 2012 & 2013

Recent Comments
Anonymous
This is an engaging poem full of symbolism that would send me to the library for research. But the lines invite pondering and dall... Read More
Sunday, 30 November 2014 22:10
Anonymous
Rosy, I went over your poem again this morning and it reminded me of an argument I've had for years, especially with professionals... Read More
Monday, 01 December 2014 15:19
Rosy Cole
Thank you for reading the poem and commenting so appreciatively, Charlie. It's not really one you can take in all at once and it i... Read More
Monday, 01 December 2014 17:15
1717 Hits
3 Comments

Odyssey


 


On Thanksgiving Day we acknowledge our dependence. William Jennings Bryan

Give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way. Native American saying

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. R W Emerson



Thanksgiving
Hope springing
Ocean defying
Nations singing


Keel unshaken
Stem to stern
Grit well proven
In the storm


Victuals supplied
Ingenuity tried
New acres betide
God's blessing

 

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Wishing all American friends and colleagues a Joyful Thanksgiving!

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright

© ©Rosy Cole 2012 & 2014

Recent Comments
Virginia M Macasaet
Amen, amen, AMEN!!!
Thursday, 27 November 2014 21:50
Anonymous
Before I get to the poem, which I did enjoy, I have to comment on the Native American saying. It comes surprisingly close to a lin... Read More
Saturday, 29 November 2014 04:53
Anonymous
As you can see my machine still scrambles the lines after I submit. Sorry. I guess I have to bring in outside help.
Saturday, 29 November 2014 04:56
1512 Hits
4 Comments

Swan Song

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On the Feast of St Cecilia, November 22


The days are sweet with lavender,
rosemary, hibiscus and lilies,
bees suck petal-satin throats,
thrum a hum of multiverse,
melting veils, imparting honey
to chaste Cecilia's song.
Emollient the olive groves and tart the lemon.
The vines are drenched in peridot
and geckoes dart among the leaves.
Night crickets throb their notes in sward
and moonstruck pines whisper of the sea,
a soothing, plangent litany.

Footfalls upon the tessarae:
wafted air strums kithara strings,
proposing chords celestial
and plucking nerves.
He is come out of the Alban Hills,
a patrician youth whose profile scythes,
keen and lean; relief of chiselled limbs,
taut with harnessed power,
a pagan son whose object deities
beguile, confuse and disappoint.
He is a god himself, Valerian,
rooted in rock like the plant.

Now the string bends to the arrow
and nature reins her mettled team.
How can fidelity to Christ,
the Son of Man, be reconciled
with obedience to parents
and to unreplenished earth?
Dashed promises, like amphorae
shattered upon ferrous earth,
let spill the Water and the Wine
of heavenly banquets.
This marriage of uneven yoke
must stake or break Cecilia!

The song dies in her breast.
What manner of having and not having
is the truth of it? But vows!
The dilemma has her seraph mute.
Speak, Guardian! she cries,
bending the knee in heart-wrung prayer.
Fear not, the Angel says, be wedlocked,
explain the plight, bid thy spouse
meet me in the Appian Way,
trust, and he shall change his tune,
in honour bound and shared virginity
to bear the Cross of Christ in melody.

Noble Valerian, yet a heathen,
so loves his wife, he dreams her dream
of flesh dilute in ecstasy of being,
no ebbing passion, no turgid clay,
and strikes out on the flinted road
only to meet the Blessed Pope himself.
Urban's eloquence spurs bold revision,
points out a bearing strange but close at hand.
Polyphony enchants Valerian's return,
the bridal bower, thronged with lark and thrush,
rings with blended harmonies
of mortal and immortal themes.

A chaplet of roses, barbed with Thorns,
adorns Valerian's brow. The Angel smiles.
Cecilia's braid of lilies honours
an ever-bountiful Madonna,
but no sword has pierced her soul as yet.
The golden couple tread the Narrow Way,
and strive and sow in grief and gladness
under a jealous Emperor's rule,
their simple faith and sunlit vista obscure,
a threat to pride and overweening power.
Be sure that buckling reason will hold sway
and rob the life that yields eternity.

They fell the bridegroom where he stands,
neither do his convert kin escape.
Three times the axe is laid on sweet Cecilia's neck
and three times is repelled. 


Her songs of praise they cannot sever,
even as God's Mercy claims her.
So Love released induces this world's tears,
till every sound becomes the Music of the Spheres.

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Copyright

© © Rosy Cole 2009, 2012 & 2013

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0 Comments

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Latest Comments

Monika Schott Change only ever happens forever
25 January 2020
Thanks Rosy. Wonderful analogy of two sides of a coin. The three guarantees we can't escape - life, ...
Monika Schott Change only ever happens forever
25 January 2020
Thanks, Chris. ?
Rosy Cole Change only ever happens forever
25 January 2020
'All that exists is an instinct to live in a way that is living for each.' This is surely the guidin...
Rosy Cole Losing The Compass
25 January 2020
Thanks, Moni. God bless. Hope 2020 is a great year for you. Stay safe. X
Chris Change only ever happens forever
22 January 2020
Beautifully written...change, the one thing that is constant for all of us...