Treasure Island

Miroslava Odalovic

(Montenegro)

The Lady Or The Tramp - a warm up poem


The river or the island
The island or the Camelot
The Shalott or Sir Lancelot

A magic web or a broken heart
A real life lived or a lonely art
Four towers or the fragrant flowers

The Shalott or The Camelot
The mirror or Sir Lancelot

A water lily or an aspen tree
Be imprisoned or just set free
Art to create or life to be

The Shalott or Sir Lancelot
The mirror or The Camelot

The silent coffin or the singing boat
The noise of heaven or silence remote
Live love and die or weave the sky

The Shalott or The Camelot
The mirror or Sir Lancelot

The glassy road or a towered space
To live by shadows or see their face
To take a breath or live in death

The Shalott or Sir Lancelot
The mirror or The Camelot

To weave or breathe or die of thirst
To break the spell or just stay cursed
Chose well or chose what's first

The Shalott or The Camelot
The mirror or Sir Lancelot

Submitted: Wednesday, October 17, 2012
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Poet's Notes about The Poem

These ‘exercise' rhymes are designed as an intro to the analysis of Tennyson'sThe Lady Of Shalott as a ‘dilemma' poem. The students are given basic data on the fate of the Lady of Shalott and are asked to circle the choice of their own in each of the lines so as to personalize the ‘dilemma' experience. The more ‘Shalott' choices indicate the level of isolation whereas the more ‘Camelot' choices indicate their ability to open up to outside experience. The ‘exercise' is of course far from capturing all the complexities and symbolism of this ballad. However, it can be used as a good starting point for elaborating the piece.

Comments about this poem (The Lady Or The Tramp - a warm up poem by Miroslava Odalovic )

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  • Tunji Ibrahim (10/25/2012 5:33:00 AM)

    Line by line, and to the finish, the poem is esoterically heightened by such devices as antithesis. 'The river or the island, The island or the Camelot, Four towers or the fragrant flowers, A water lily or an aspen tree, Be imprisoned or just set free, The noise of heaven or silence remote...' Placing these words side by side, they appear somewhat different, but, accordingly, they are capable of posing trouble of equal magnitude the same way the choice of one variable to another only tends to open a Pandora's box. However, it is even more intelligible this way: ' Be imprisoned for life or just set free to die now'. An eagle eye will see these are difficult choices. Since the narrator compresses critical observations at a fearful rate, if a choice has to be made at all, perhaps under duress, it might hardly be too brief. Succinctly, a choice in this dilemma ballad is a difficult product of an equally difficult imagination into which we are being wittingly catapulted by the poet. (Report) Reply

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