Wednesday, August 02, 2006

And Now For Something Completely Different... *

To add a little culture ("kultchya") to this blog, I'd like to quote a poem from one of my favourite 'Creators'.

I first discovered Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882)- painter, designer, writer, and translator- in 1996 when I stumbled on an antique book in my grandparents' house. The fraying, burgundy fabric-covered collection of poetry belonged to my grandmother, Marie-Jeanne Murnane. She told me at the time that it was one of the few books she brought with her when she emigrated from England to Australia in the 1940s to marry my grandfather Leo.

I began to read the collection, and found a beauty in the poetry that sang to me.

The book has since travelled around the world with me(carefully wrapped in paper, and several zip-locked bags in my carry-on luggage). Though I prefer his poetry to his paintings, I am full of admiration for Rossetti's diversity- his ability to transend the pressure to keep within just one medium. I consider myself to be a 'creator of all trades', and though our styles are vastly different, I consider Rossetti to be one of my role models for this reason.

Below is one of my favourite poems:

Love-Lily (1869)

Between the hands, between the brows,
Between the lips of Love-Lily,
A spirit is born whose birth endows
My blood with fire to burn through me;
Who breathes upon my gazing eyes,
Who laughs and murmurs in mine ear,
At whose least touch my colour flies,
And whom my life grows faint to hear.

Within the voice, within the heart,
Within the mind of Love-Lily,
A spirit is born who lifts apart
His tremulous wings and looks at me;
Who on my mouth his finger lays,
And shows, while whispering lutes confer,
That Eden of Love's watered ways
Whose winds and spirits worship her.

Brows, hands, and lips, heart, mind, and voice,
Kisses and words of Love-Lily,--
Oh! bid me with your joy rejoice
Till riotous longing rest in me!
Ah! let not hope be still distraught,
But find in her its gracious goal,
Whose speech Truth knows not from her thought
Nor Love her body from her soul.

See the Dante Gabriel Rossetti Archive for more information.

*Don't worry, I haven't gone completely soft... to balance all the 'kultchya' I managed to slip in a quote from Monty Python's Flying Circus into the title.

"We will now return to your regular programming..."


Girl Clumsy said...

Hi Louise!

This is totally of the topic of your lovely post about Rossetti, but I was wondering how the weather is in Beijing at the moment?

I know you're in Shanghai, but any tips on what I should be wearing when I touch down in the capital in just over a week would be great!

(I've already been told it's sweaty in Hong Kong!)

Cheers, Natalie.

Louise said...

Hi Natalie,

You must be so excited about the trip- it so close!

Ok, it's hot here in Shanghai, but Beijing is further north, so not QUITE as hot. I'd say get on the plane in jeans and a jumper over a t-shirt/singlet, with shorts/skirt in your carry-on. Change on the plane or before you get to immigration into the shorts/skirt and stow the jumper. That's what I did when I arrived here a year ago (exactly!) and it worked perfectly.

Checking the weather from CNN online ( Beijing is currently a balmy 29 degrees, and for the next five days at least will be about 21-31 degrees. They are getting more rain than us these days so the humidity is higher (85%). There is the wind factor though, which makes the heat off the desert hit the city, so don't be surprised if you feel hotter than the supposed temp (blowing in the sand with it).

Here in shanghai I haven't worn a jumper, or even long sleeves since April.

Any other questions, drop me an email (still got the address?)


Girl Clumsy said...

Thanks Louise!

It does worry me though - I haven't actually got shorts or a skirt. My legs are a bit - well, pale and wobbly would probably be the best way to describe them. ;)

Plus as we continue we're heading into colder weather - so I figured pants would be best. But maybe I should track some shorts down. And I guess a skirt is always handy - I could show off my new Crocs!

Yup, I've still got your email - I'll just do a bit of searching through all the crap in my inbox and find it!

Congrats on a year in China!


Louise said...

Hi Natalie

Don't worry about the shorts thing- a pair of light pants or a long skirt will suffice. I have been wearing long cotton pants, or three quarter lenght pants most days and its fine. I have learnt however that jeans are just too hot.

I guess it will be a bit hard to buy summer clothes in the middle of winter though- you could always buy something cheap at St Vinnies and then just leave it behind in Beijing, and save having to carry it throughout the rest of your trip.


Girl Clumsy said...

Hey Louise,

Do you know, I haven't worn a long skirt since the mid-90s? I find them really hard to wear, mostly because they make my arse look like the 10th planet. I do have a pair of brown cotton pants though, so they might be better suited to China.

I'm just SUCH a jeans girl - I never feel as comfortable in other sorts of trousers. I'm a size 14 though, so maybe if I lost a few kilos I'd feel better about it. ;)

As for summer clothes - well, they're all in the shops now. They never really go out in Brisbane - only our winter nights and early mornings are truly cold. Most other times it gets warm enough to just get around with a jacket. Also, it hasn't rained here in about 17 years, so it's always sunny.

Despite my pasty skin, I deal with heat better than I deal with cold - I say that now, but I'm sure I'll be whingeing come touchdown!

Thanks again, Natalie.