"Gloire the Dijon" and the transience of the moment.

Essay by annettemailCollege, Undergraduate October 2007

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Lawrence mentions in his “Introduction” to New Poems:(1)“The seething poetry of the incarnate Now is supreme, beyond even the everlasting gems of the before and after”. “Gloire de Dijon” presents to us the image of a temporary moment that because of its beauty will last forever. The poem introduces us the image of a woman doing something as simple and ordinary as taking a morning bath, yet comparing her to the beauty and glory of yellow roses. Roses are a universal symbol of eternal love and beauty. By using these roses to compare the woman, the poet is immediately letting us know that the woman is not only beautiful, but she will cause an impression that will impinge on our mind.

Lawrence also mentions in his “Introduction” the elements that a poem about the present should include to make it “supreme” We can find some, if not all of these elements in the poem, I will mention some of them:*“There must be mutation, swifter than iridescence, haste, not rest,””We can find mutation of elements, changing from one state to another in the following line of the poem:“Glisten as silver, they crumple up” (12)The “shoulders” after dipping into the water, change their beautiful shining appearance to a not so graceful one damped and compressed with water.

We can see how a mutation is fast and appears almost imperceptible.

*“come-and-go, not fixity,”In the fourteenth line: “For the sluicing of their rain-disheveled petals” we can find an example of how the temporary reality can be changed, it is not fixed. The water or “rain” will “dishevel” or tear apart the “roses”, changing the temporary reality into something completely different.

At last in his “Introduction” Lawrence mentions: “This is the unrestful, ungraspable poetry of the sheer present, poetry whose very permanency lies in its wind-like transit” In the poem we can find this “wind-like transit” when the shoulders, after being described as glorious and beautiful are taken apart very easily by the simple act of dripping in water. This is the essence of the poem, it shows a single, temporary moment that is so momentary that it can be ruined by single water, but that will remain forever because of its beauty compared to glorious roses.

(1) D.H. Lawrence, "Introduction" to New Poems, 1918 pp. 181-86