Her Lady of Shallot

Dec 28, 2018

My Granny called me her ‘Lady of Shallot’, both enamoured with the poem I would write it out in the letters I sent to her.

A print of the majestic painting inspired by our beloved poem hung in my room as a child, now hanging in my healing room, it has always been my favourite.

Unbeknown to me ‘The Lady of Shallot’ by John William Waterhouse is on loan from the Tate where my Granny first saw her and fell in love, and where I missed her when I visited the Tate at 20.

As we entered the exhibit at the National Gallery today, and approached this massive print my heart leapt into my throat, as I realised I was about to meet her in person for the very first time.

Rushing through the gallery to find where she hung, as I stood before her majestic beauty, as the tears began to well, I could almost hear my Granny reciting to me...

“A longdrawn carol, mournful, holy,

She chanted loudly, chanted lowly,

Till her eyes were darken'd wholly,

And her smooth face sharpen'd slowly, Turn'd to tower'd Camelot:

For ere she reach'd upon the tide

The first house by the water-side,

Singing in her song she died, The Lady of Shalott.”

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