A friend reminded me today – this dark dark day – that it is the “Eve of St. Agnes Day”. I am quite devoted to St. Agnes, and I have 1st class relic of her.
My friend reminded me today because he wanted me to repost an old PODCAzT that I made some years ago, in which I read the poem by Keats, “The Eve of St. Agnes“. I also look at Christina Rossetti’s “In the bleak midwinter”, which has been beautifully set to music.
I, fan of poetry that I am, read out Keat’s poem, 42 Spencerian stanzas. It is torrid and lush, with marvelous moments and imagery, imbued with the revival of romantic, courtly love which was coming back into vogue in the early 19th century.
The poem takes inspiration from a superstition, which I explain in an introduction.
The Eve of St Agnes would inspire the Pre-Raphaelites, as a matter of fact.
Speaking of Pre-Raphaelites, one of their circle, was Christina Rossetti.
It seems appropriate today, as we enter into a bleak and “dark winter”, to hear this lovely poem.