Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Lady Of Shalott

The Lady of Shalott is a magical being who lives alone on an island upstream from King Arthur's Camelot. Her business is to look at the world outside her castle window in a mirror, and to weave what she sees into a tapestry. She is forbidden by the magic to look at the outside world directly. The farmers who live near her island hear her singing and know who she is, but never see her.

The Lady sees ordinary people, loving couples, and knights in pairs reflected in her mirror. One day, she sees the reflection of Sir Lancelot riding alone. Although she knows that it is forbidden, she looks out the window at him. The mirror shatters, the tapestry flies off on the wind, and the Lady feels the power of her curse.

An autumn storm suddenly arises. The lady leaves her castle, finds a boat, writes her name on it, gets into the boat, sets it adrift, and sings her death song as she drifts down the river to Camelot. The locals find the boat and the body, realize who she is, and are saddened. Lancelot prays that God will have mercy on her soul.

*I have always loved this story (Poem) and just like the death of Jeff Buckley (that makes me ache every time I hear his voice) and the story of "Alfonsina y el mar" (That song will always get a tear out of me), they are stories that make you relate to heartache. To be in a place so dark and sad that you would take your own life over it, I believe is a place that most of us will never know...and plus, getting your hands on a boat is not that easy these days ;)

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