Reading “Geraldine’s Courtship”

I usually avoid writing my blog during the day on Saturday. Yet this one day it was important. I finished reading pages 210-241 of The Soul of the Octopus and hence finished the book. Then I read pages 309-364 of Aurora Leigh and Other Poems by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. I have more Browning to read but am taking a break for the present moment… because Browning reminds me in “Lady Geraldine’s Courtship” (though it must be an early poem) of my own Current True Love. It is a trifle long but I will copy the portion relevant:

Lady Geraldine’s Courtship

“For myself I do not argue,” said I, “though I love you, Madam,

But for better souls, that nearer to the height of yours have trod–

And this age shows, to my thinking, still more infidels to Adam,

Then directly, by profession, simple infidels to God.

“Yet, O God” (I said), “O grave” (I said), “O mother’s heart and bosom,

With whom first and last are equal, saint and corpse and little child!…

“Learn more reverence, Madam, not for rank or wealth–that needs no learning…

But for Adam’s seed, MAN! Trust me, ’tis clay above your scorning,

With God’s image stamped upon it, and God’s kindling breath within.

“What right have you, Madam, gazing in your shining mirror daily,

Getting so, by heart, your beauty, which all others must adore,–

While you draw the golden ringlets down your fingers, to vow gaily,…

You will wed no man that’s only good to God,–and nothing more?…”

Lines 291-306

I am not really an aristocrat to his peasant; he may actually be flabbergasted if he knows how I feel at all. Yet on meeting I am convinced he mauled me in effect, demanding that I put aside my pride and love only him. In that respect, the courting of Geraldine was familiar; he imagined so many things true of me that hardly made sense to me. Yet he was not intentionally cruel. Actually, the impression of him that I had was that he thought rather less of himself than I did. Despite what I say, it was rather as if he was too sincere than not sincere enough. I never had a guy who appeared interested in me quite the way he is, and that included the few who have tried to sleep with me (which he did not try to). Of course, I don’t know if these impressions are my fault or his. He is rather a puzzle to me. I hope nobody reading this thinks less of me or him. I hope he is not hurt that I wrote about our relationship on the Internet. It isn’t really official yet: we haven’t gone out on our first date yet. Neither one of us seems able to make “the first move.” I wonder why the male gender is always a mystery to me in the love department… I have many male friends but few men who actually are interested in dating me.

Published by hadassahalderson

I am a professional author who lives in Wichita, KS. I went to Friends University and spent one year at Claremont Graduate University. My published work includes: The Bible According to Eve I-IV and Faust in Love.

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