Monday, August 12, 2013

Korealand Part 3

My school recently got a new foreigner teacher and she's doing all of the blogging. That reminded me that  I have a blog of my own that I have been neglecting for ages.'s an update.

Topia, my third school in Korea, makes me work harder than my other schools did. I'm not complaining too much, because when we're not on our intensive schedules, I have time to get everything done during work hours. Even though some of the busy work irritates me, it does help the day go by faster.

The students' English level at this school is the highest I've worked with. Yes, there are some kids that will just never get it, but overall they're really good. I didn't know until I started working at Topia that it's one of the top two hogwans in town. Sweet. Job stability!

Summer term is almost over. Just one more week of intensives to go and then back to a more humane schedule. I am very much looking forward to that.  Then in September - new term! I was excited for that until I realized that means I'll have different classes. I have grown to LOVE some of my classes this term. There's really only one class that makes me angry, but even they aren't too bad.

One of my favorite kids is one that would barely speak to me at the beginning of the term. Alice. I have since then renamed her Emo Alice. She usually wears an expression that shows how she's soooooo over everything. Then she would smile when I'd pretend to be her. *swoosh hair to the side* "My name is Alice, and I hate everything." She just nods yes. She likes drawing pictures of me on the board. At first they were hideous. Lately, I'm looking much prettier. Also, sometimes she waits for me by the elevators when it's time for our class. She gives me a look, like she's saying "Don't you know what time it is? We have things to do." I think she says it in a monotone voice. She's that kid. Then she links her arm through mine and pulls me towards the class. Sometimes I let her wear my rings in class or play with my hair. Lately she's been repeating certain phrases that I know she got from me. Is that what it's like to have a child? Jaysus!

I have a class with four of the sweetest children ever. They're always so upbeat. They get my jokes. They are super enthusiastic. They have opinions. Nearly every class we have a picnic. They usually bring a bag or two of dry ramyeon, or I get them ice cream. Today I gave them some Cadbury chocolate. They quickly became fans of it. The two boys were trying to split a piece between them, but they dropped it on the floor. They stared at it for maybe three seconds, until one picked it up, dusted it off, bit half of it off, and handed it to the other boy, who didn't hesitate for a moment to eat it. I like that they value chocolate.

Then there's the super high level fifth graders. I never tell them I love them...but they know. I love reading their essays, because usually I'm a main character in their stories, or I at least have an interesting subplot. They also sing to me. Let me tell you, it is quite a surreal experience to be in class with these small Korean humans and have them serenade me with a rendition of La Bamba. All the Spanish words are pronounced perfectly. Yes, I taught them a bit of the song, but only because one of the stories we read was about a boy who performed it in a talent show. That doesn't stop me from being amazed every time they sing it. Here's them singing "A Whole New World" and "In the Jungle":

I could write a gazillion pages about the kids I like and the silly things they do in class, but I'll just stop myself now.

Monday, May 20, 2013

My First Korean Wedding

I've been in Korea for a while, and I've heard from friends about what a bizarre experience it can be to go to a Korean wedding. At my first school, I had one coworker. She was already married. At my second school, I had more coworkers. One had a boyfriend. I'd jokingly tell her she should get married so I can go to her wedding. She should really think about how it would make my life better. She selfishly did not get married. I told my other coworker I'd help her find a boyfriend so she could get married. Once again, I got nothing. For a country that's so focused on finding a significant other and tying the knot, they were all being highly uncooperative. At my third school, I finally got my wish.

I was just sitting at my desk, marking books, when one of the teachers started handing out envelopes to everyone. I opened my envelope and was surprised to find a wedding invitation. I started bouncing in my seat. The teacher who sits next to me asked me why I was happy, so I explained. She just giggled at me.

As I had never been to a Korean wedding before, I had to ask Korean friends and foreigners who had previously attended these weddings about the protocol. In the weddings I'm used to, if you have an actual relationship with the bride or groom, you should give a wedding gift. It can be towels, appliances, gift cards, blah, blah, blah. You know the drill. The point is, in Korea it doesn't work that way. You give cash in an envelope when you get to the wedding hall (more on wedding halls coming up in a bit). I wasn't sure how much cash to give, but I learned. A coworker of mine broke it down for me. $100 if you're very close (if you're super close, you can give more), $50 if you're friends, $30 if you don't really know them. I fell into the $30 category. I thought that this gift money would be spent by them to buy things they want, but it's more to cover the costs of the wedding. When you have a wedding at a wedding hall, you have to pay for the buffet for each guest, so my "gift" money pretty much just covered the price of my meal.

The day before the wedding, I ransacked my wardrobe in an attempt to find something suitable to wear. I wasn't sure how dress-up-y this all would be. In the many Mexican weddings I have attended, people really do go all out. Long dresses. Heels. Get your hurr did. Manicures. All of it. I decided on not fancy. Just nice. I even curled my hair (that stayed intact for all of two hours). I also wore flats. I took a cab to the wedding hall with some friends and arrived to the wedding hall - aka The Wedding Factory.

We entered the multistory building and tried to figure out which way to go. Third floor! We saw a bride walk by in a huge white dress. She looked like someone had pulled her out of a bridal magazine. We made it up to the third floor and spotted people we knew. Yay! We then went into a room near the elevators and found the bride. The room was set up to be a photo studio. There was a backdrop thingy and everything. She was sitting on a white bench so people could take pictures with her. At first I was a bit hesitant to be in any of the pictures, but I realized that it was going to happen, so whatever.

Amy Teacher looking gorgeous

Group picture with Amy teacher

I gave one of my coworkers my gift money and she gave me a slip of paper. This slip of paper would be my ticket into the buffet. After that, I went into the actual wedding hall. It was huge. It was dazzling. It was not at all similar to any wedding site I'd ever been too. Spotlights. Catwalk. The "altar" on a stage. The friend I saw with was on the same page as me in that we had no shame and would sit as close to the front and the aisle as we could. We wanted to see everything!

The ceremony. It was unlike anything I had seen before. I will confess, my memories of this are a bit foggy. It's been many weeks since this all happened. I'll try my best to explain what happened. First, the groom walked down the catwalk. It was so sweet to see his face in those few seconds before he started his walk. He looked nervous and proud at the same time. Then the bride in all her glittery glory. Near the alter was a pair of women wearing what looked like flight attendant uniforms, holding what looked like swords from one of the Mummy movies combined with light sabers. They put their light sabers together to make a heart shape. Then the bride and groom stood together at the "altar." I say "altar" because it wasn't a religious ceremony. Then wedding hall man started talking. What did he say? I have no idea. What I found odd was that the bride and groom did not speak at all during the ceremony. At one point they walked to stage left where they were serenaded by a girl singing an English song. Then at some other point, they sauntered over to stage right, where they had a wedding cake. It was huge! They cut the cake. I was completely baffled by it. Cake cutting during the ceremony? What??? Oh, and while all of this was going on, there was a slideshow of gorgeous wedding photos that had been taken at a studio some time before the actual day, photographer people who were documenting every movement, and a woman was constantly fixing the bride's dress. When it was over (15 or 20 minutes later), the bride and groom walked down the catwalk again and a trumpet was used to dramatically
throw streamers.
The catwalk

Flight attendant woman, groom, bride, and...the bride's handmaiden?
Streamers from mute trumpets
All of the people!

My thoughts? It was strange. Wedding halls really are like wedding factories. There are many halls that are being used at the same time. Ceremonies are short. I don't know how personalized they are, because I have no idea what they're saying. They're "Western" style weddings, so they have the elements of what I'm used to, but not exactly. There isn't an aisle. There's a catwalk. The altar is a stage. Cake is cut during the ceremony, but nobody eats it. Both those things are weird. Many of the guests aren't very interested in what's going on. Some people miss the ceremony altogether because they're at the buffet. Streamers. Flight attendants. It is very efficient though. Oh, and the bouquet. She threw the bouquet during the group photo session. I didn't know this at the time, but the bride decides who gets the bouquet. It's rigged! She asked Rachel teacher to step forward and catch the bouquet. Rachel teacher caught it. She caught it 3 or 5 times. Why? Because the moment was being photographed. She had to do it until they had a good picture. Many of these little moments are just staged for the photo album. It's all one big photo op.  I found that a bit contrived but I must say Korean people are AMAZING at taking beautiful pictures. It was a bizarre experience. Even though I was confuzzled and whatnot, it was still lovely to see the bride and groom's faces throughout the ceremony. They were just so happy.

In normal (for me) weddings, you go to a different venue for the reception and dinner. Not here. It's all in the same place. After the ceremony was over and all the group pictures had been taken, our group of foreigners went to the buffet part of the floor we were on.We started piling the food on our plates and then we happily walked over to find a table….except we didn't . We all stood there awkwardly for a couple of minutes until space became available. Another difference with weddings I've been to - you eat with strangers. The buffet area is not just for one wedding at a time. All the guests from all the weddings eat in the same place. We were lucky enough to score two long tables next to each other, so most of us sat together. Sometimes you have to sit with randoms, because there are no whole tables open. If you go to a wedding and get your tickets for entry, you really could just stay in the buffet and eat all day long. Maybe you could even go watch some more weddings and then come back into the buffet. The staff didn't ask for invitations, now that I think about it. Anyway, the bride and groom came to the dining area to say hi to everyone. They had changed from their modern wedding attire into hanbok - traditional Korean clothes. They looked sooooo adorable!

So…My first Korean wedding. It was fun. It was interesting. It was all the craic! Here's some footage. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Accidental Food Adventure

I've been meaning to write about this for a while, but because I'm an extremely lazy person who prefers to watch TV shows instead, I haven't. Today I woke up sick and without the desire to anything, but I still want to feel slightly productive, so here I am.

A few weekends ago, I had planned to have dinner with a friend (Henceforth referred to as Friend 1). All week we had been asking each other where we were going to eat, and all week we were able to narrow it down to edible non-spicy food. So come Saturday, I was pleased that another friend (Henceforth referred to as Friend 2) had asked if we could go with him to a restaurant he had been wanting to go to for a while. Yay! Decision made. Friend 1 told me it was some sort of chicken restaurant. Who doesn't like chicken, hey?

So we meet outside the apartment building. Friend 2 had asked one of his students to write the address of the place on a piece of paper. He said we could walk there, but a cab would be easier. We got into a cab, and the driver put the address into the GPS thing, because he, like us, was not exactly sure where we were going. I reread the address and thought I knew which neighborhood it was in - one about 5 minutes away. We did not go that way. All of a sudden we were crossing the bridge towards Expo Park and heading into the part of the city beyond the river. The North! I took another look at the paper and realized I had read it wrong. We were going to Techno Valley, a place I hadn't been to since my first year in Korea. If you don't live there or further north, there is no need to go there. So what we thought would be a five minute/$3 cab ride ended up being a 15 or 20 minute $10 cab ride through dark, natureful parts of town. It felt like we had left the city and were en route to Seoul. We were concerned that maybe we would go all the way there and not find the restaurant. Maybe Friend 2's student had punked him. Also, we realized that when the time came for us to get out, we had no idea what this place looked like. Luckily, when we came to a stop, the cab driver pointed at the building. 

We got out, and I saw that I had been misinformed about the food being served. This was no chicken restaurant. In Korean it was called something like Wel Bing Ssam, which translated to Well Being SSam on my Google Translate. What is Ssam? My best guess is something to do with the number three. I don't know. So, Well Being Ssam…It's just a fancy Shabu place. 

There is a pot in the center. It's filled with broth so we can throw in all the veggies. There's a grill around the pot so we can cook all the meat. We ordered the set with abalone, because we figured we could handle one kind of seafood. Except for Friend 1. No seafood there. What you do at this place is you take rice paper, dip it in warm rose water to soften it, place all the veggies you like on it, roll it up into a pretty veggie roll, and eat it with sauce on it. Friend 1 and I became masters at making the veggie rolls and decided we should open our own restaurant. Friend 2, on the other hand, made what looked more like veggie burritos. Needless to say, we won't be hiring him. 

Then the seafood arrived. What we thought would be only abalone was actually more. 

There were small octopi, scallops, shrimp, and this other thing that we dubbed Alien. None of us had ever seen any sea creature resembling it. In the photo, I think Alien and its brothers and sisters are hiding under the shells the tongs are on. Into the pot went all the sea food! Friend 1 tried to defishify some of the meat by grilling it, but it was all to no avail. Everything had become seafood-y. I steered clear of the octopus. Suction cups. *shiver* I can't handle that. I thought I'd give the shrimp a try, but they still had faces and legs. I cut off a shrimp's head with scissors, and yellow stuff came out of it, so I quit. I ate some scallops instead. Then I accidentally ladled out an Alien onto my plate. I looked at it and wondered what planet it had come from. Even though it was weird, I decided that if I stopped staring at it and just ate it, maybe it wouldn't be so bad. So I made another rice paper roll and added Alien to its contents. I ate it, and it was good. I really wish I had taken a picture of Alien before I ate it, but I was hungry. I also had a shrimp, because Friend 2 was nice enough to remove its face and legs for me. He also ate all the tentacle-y animals. 

Then came the noodles. After noodles, there was a mixture of rice, egg, and a seafood-y thing. I think the making of veggie rolls is supposed to happen only at the beginning of the meal, but we just kept making them with everything. We also tasted the rose water and were very disappointed to find that it tasted like warm water and not roses. 

We paid and went out in search of a cab. That took a while. 

So to summarize, I thought we were going to get chicken at a place 5 minutes away, but really we drove forever through wilderness and darkness to Techno Valley and had fancy Shabu Shabu with a dash of weird sea creatures. I ate an Alien, and it was good. 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

End of Round Two

About a month ago, I finished my second contract in Korea. It's ridiculous how quickly time goes by. I did so much during that 14-month contract. I took three vacations - Turkey (which I somewhat chronicled), Indonesia, and Cambodia. I watched Wicked. I went to an Eminem concert. I nearly finished paying off my financial debt. I would've finished...but vacations are so enticing. I had enough money to buy all the headbands my wee heart desired. Financially speaking, it was a good year.

Work was fun. During my last semester, we changed the curriculum. We started teaching novels. It was so fun for me to hand over hardcover copies of The Hunger Games to my 5th, 6th, and 7th graders and hear them groan, and then a few weeks later having some of them ask if they could please read ahead, because they just had to know what happened. It was also nice to see them start to think for themselves a bit.

I stayed in Korea for a little over two weeks after I finished work. Why? Many reasons. Two very lovely ladies share a birthday on December 15th, and I didn't want to miss it. I was curious about what it's like to live in Korea without having to work. It was confusing. It felt like everyday was Saturday. I also had dreams in which I was fired for not showing up. I wanted to take my time buying souvenirs for my family. I wanted to spend more time with my friends. I also lucked out, because unbeknownst to me, an uncle and aunt of mine were visiting my cousin up in Seoul. When he told me they were there and that they hoped they could see me if I wasn't too busy, I happily told him I wasn't busy at all. I got to spend time with them, which was nice.

The only thing I didn't like about staying extra time? Snow. Facebook updates were how I found out it had begun. All these posts were cheery. I did not feel cheery. Yes, snow is pretty. Yes, it can be fun. However, it is NOT fun when every step you take outside could spell your imminent doom! I found myself looking for fresh snow to walk on, so I could tread safely. I took baby steps when there was nothing but ice ahead. There were even a few times when I had someone help me walk across treacherous spots. It got to the point that every time I walked outside, I was in a foul mood. Then with every step I took, I repeated my new mantra to myself in my head - "You'll be in California soon." That made it much better.

Now I'm home. I don't wear leggings under my jeans. I don't wear earmuffs or mittens. I don't wear boots. I've worn a scarf a couple of times at night. When I wear my thin winter jacket, I have to take it off, because I start to overheat. It's not hot over here, but it is definitely nowhere near as cold as Daejeon. It's in the 60s all this week (17 - 20 for you Celsius people). Me likes.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Technologically Deprived

I had never had a laptop prior to embarking on my Korean adventure. I bought one two weeks before flying here, because I needed a way to stay in contact with my family back home and keep myself entertained. In March of this year, I decided I also needed a smart phone, because why not? I never had one before and was slightly jealous of my friends who did. So I got myself an iPhone and the world became a more beautiful place. I could check Facebook wherever I was. I could read my email seconds after receiving it. I could convert from metric to imperial, Fahrenheit to Celsius.What? You want to know how many miles away the moon is? Let me check my phone! I also got a super cool phone case with all the Marvel superheroes. Amazing! In addition to my phone, I had my beautiful, shiny blue laptop waiting for me at home to watch TV series and movies. I also used it to Skype call my family, blast music while I showered, and as a distraction from things I actually had to do. My laptop. My child. Same same.

Nearly a week ago my laptop decided it didn't want to live anymore. That same night, someone stole my phone. As frustrating as it's been to be technologically deprived, it's also been kind of nice in certain ways.

There's a loooooong book I've been reading since April or May. I was about 60% of the way into the book. I finished it yesterday. I've gotten A LOT of reading time in these past few days. I washed my dishes, which had been sitting in my sink, neglected, for...umm...a while? I cleaned my bathroom. I did my laundry. I put my clothes away. I nearly finished packing for vacation. I gave myself a haircut. I sat on my bathroom floor singing a ton of songs, because I like the acoustics in there. I rediscovered mango smoothies. I vacuumed. I went to sleep slightly earlier than usual. I got lots of work done at school. I don't have a phone attached to me at all times.

I do have an old iPod touch to keep me connected to the world. I use my wifi on it, but everytime the screen turns off, it severs the internet connection, which means I have to type in my password AGAIN, and it's a long password. It's gotten annoying, so I don't connect to the internet on the iPod as often as I did the first couple days. Using it for Facebook is a nightmare. It takes forever to refresh, and when I check the newsfeed, it'll show my about ten statuses, and then it decides it's done. So the iPod is occasionally used for internet purposes, because it's too much work. I do use it for music though, because the apartment is far too quiet.

I like the lack of constant notifications. I like not getting random texts at 4 in the morning that scare me out of sleep, because I forgot to put my phone on silent before going to bed. I like that without the technological distractions, I'm rather productive. I'm remembering what life was like before my laptop and phone. Was it inconvenient? Yes, sometimes. Was it more peaceful? Definitely. Even so, I'm going through all the steps to get a new phone. Thank goodness I have insurance and I don't have to pay the full price for a new one! I'm also hoping my laptop can be fixed, but if not, that's ok. I can get a new one when I go home. For now I am on vacation from them.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

My Milton

As teachers, we're not supposed to have favorites and we should treat all our students equally. I do treat them all equally (Unless they're just bad kids. Then I have to be extra strict), but I must confess I have my favorites. I have had conversations with my coworkers about which students we would like to kidnap and take home with us when we finish our contracts. I immediately  called dibs on two students - Milton and Jean. My coworkers tried to steal them from me, but I argued that because they're siblings they should be kept together. Anyway, as the blog title suggests, this entry is about Milton.

Milton is a 6th grade boy. He's been my student for three terms in a row. He's such a smart kid. He's also a lot of trouble. Almost every class I have him for consists of me praising him followed by me telling him to shut up. Just today I told him that I like him but have to constantly fight the urge to choke him. He responded by choking himself until his face was bright red and then pretending to die. Since we had some time to spare, I decided to video him. Here's what I got:

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Homesick. Boo!!!

I haven't really gotten homesick in the time I've been in Korea. I mean, I miss the people back home, but overall, I've been alright. The only incident that comes to mind of me almost crying was this past Mother's Day, when I Skyped with my mom, but before she walked over to the computer, my sister-in-law congratulated her and hugged her.  I nearly lost my %$#*. Why did she get to hug her? I'm her daughter!!! Anyway, other than that, I've been fine. And then...there was today.

It kinda creeped up on me at work, and I haven't been able to shake it off. I was in class and thoughts of home popped into my head. It all went downhill from there. I then felt a strong need to be comforted. I wanted a comforting hug, but not from a co-worker or a germy child. 

One of my classes was cancelled, because none of the kids showed up (middle school testing).  I had taken my Kindle to work, because I suspected such a thing would happen, so I decided to read to pass the time. Even Game of Thrones was not enough to distract me. When the bell rang, the other teachers came in, and Nicole asked me why I looked so sad. She asked me if another character had died in my book (I very much react to my books). I don't remember what excuse I made up. 

After work, I went for a jog with a couple people. I felt a bit better. Nadia doesn't really exercise, so I felt like I accomplished something. 

Then, I came home and had a little spat with a friend over something stupid. This, in addition to some other things that have been troubling me lately, made me lose it. Completely. Waterworks on! I didn't know what to do or who to talk to, so I just did the logical thing and cried some more. 

Now, I'm feeling a bit better. By "a bit better," I mean I've managed to stop crying. Oh...wait...just kidding. It started again. Boooooo!!! 

Whenever I feel sad, I like to read The Lady of Shalott by Alfred Lord Tennyson. I'm not sure it actually helps to ameliorate my mood, but it's beautiful in a tragic way. I'm including it here for you to read, if you are so inclined.

The Lady of Shalott
On either side the river lie
Long fields of barley and of rye,
That clothe the world and meet the sky;
And through the field the road runs by
            To many-towered Camelot;
And up and down the people go,
Gazing where the lilies blow
Round an island there below,
            The island of Shalott.
Willows whiten, aspens quiver,
Little breezes dusk and shiver
Through the wave that runs for ever
By the island in the river
            Flowing down to Camelot.
Four gray walls, and four gray towers,
Overlook a space of flowers,
And the silent isle imbowers
            The Lady of Shalott.
By the margin, willow veiled
Slide the heavy barges trailed
By slow horses; and unhailed
The shallop flitteth silken-sailed
Skimming down to Camelot:
            But who hath seen her wave her hand?
Or at the casement seen her stand?          
Or is she known in all the land,
            The Lady of Shalott?
Only reapers, reaping early
In among the bearded barley,
Hear a song that echoes cheerly
From the river winding clearly,
            Down to towered Camelot:
And by the moon the reaper weary,
Piling sheaves in uplands airy,
Listening, whispers "'Tis the fairy
            Lady of Shalott."
There she weaves by night and day
A magic web with colours gay.
She has heard a whisper say,
A curse is on her if she stay
            To look down to Camelot.
She knows not what the curse may be,
And so she weaveth steadily,
And little other care hath she,
            The Lady of Shalott.
And moving through a mirror clear
That hangs before her all the year,
Shadows of the world appear.
There she sees the highway near
            Winding down to Camelot:
There the river eddy whirls,
And there the curly village-churls,
And the red cloaks of market girls,
            Pass onward from Shalott.
Sometimes a troop of damsels glad,
An abbot on an ambling pad,
Sometimes a curly shepherd-lad,
Or long-haired page in crimson clad,
            Goes by to towered Camelot;
And sometimes through the mirror blue
The knights come riding two and two:
She hath no loyal knight and true,
            The Lady of Shalott.
But in her web she still delights
To weave the mirror's magic sights,
For often through the silent nights
A funeral, with plumes and lights
            And music, went to Camelot:
Or when the moon was overhead,
Came two young lovers lately wed;
"I am half sick of shadows," said
            The Lady of Shalott.
A bow-shot from her bower-eaves,
He rode between the barley-sheaves,
The sun came dazzling through the leaves,
And flamed upon the brazen greaves
            Of bold Sir Lancelot.
A red-cross knight for ever kneeled
To a lady in his shield,
That sparkled on the yellow field,
            Beside remote Shalott.
The gemmy bridle glittered free,
Like to some branch of stars we see
Hung in the golden Galaxy.
The bridle bells rang merrily
            As he rode down to Camelot:
And from his blazoned baldric slung
A mighty silver bugle hung,
And as he rode his armour rung,
            Beside remote Shalott.
All in the blue unclouded weather
Thick-jewelled shone the saddle-leather,
The helmet and the helmet-feather
Burned like one burning flame together,
            As he rode down to Camelot.
As often through the purple night,
Below the starry clusters bright,
Some bearded meteor, trailing light,
            Moves over still Shalott.
His broad clear brow in sunlight glow'd;
On burnished hooves his war-horse trode;
From underneath his helmet flowed
His coal-black curls as on he rode,
            As he rode down to Camelot.
From the bank and from the river
He flashed into the crystal mirror,
"Tirra lira," by the river
            Sang Sir Lancelot.
She left the web, she left the loom,
She made three paces through the room,
She saw the water-lily bloom,
She saw the helmet and the plume,
            She looked down to Camelot.
Out flew the web and floated wide;
The mirror cracked from side to side;
"The curse is come upon me," cried
            The Lady of Shalott.
In the stormy east-wind straining,
The pale yellow woods were waning,
The broad stream in his banks complaining,
Heavily the low sky raining
            Over towered Camelot;
Down she came and found a boat
Beneath a willow left afloat,
And round about the prow she wrote
            The Lady of Shalott.
And down the river's dim expanse
Like some bold seer in a trance,
Seeing all his own mischance —
With a glassy countenance
            Did she look to Camelot.
And at the closing of the day
She loosed the chain, and down she lay;
The broad stream bore her far away,
            The Lady of Shalott.
Lying, robed in snowy white
That loosely flew to left and right —
The leaves upon her falling light —
Through the noises of the night
            She floated down to Camelot:
And as the boat-head wound along
The willowy hills and fields among,
They heard her singing her last song,
            The Lady of Shalott.
Heard a carol, mournful, holy,
Chanted loudly, chanted lowly,
Till her blood was frozen slowly,
And her eyes were darkened wholly,
            Turned to towered Camelot.
For ere she reached upon the tide
The first house by the water-side,
Singing in her song she died,
            The Lady of Shalott.
Under tower and balcony,
By garden-wall and gallery,
A gleaming shape she floated by,
Dead-pale between the houses high,
            Silent into Camelot.
Out upon the wharfs they came,
Knight and burgher, lord and dame,
And round the prow they read her name,
            The Lady of Shalott.
Who is this? and what is here?
And in the lighted palace near
Died the sound of royal cheer;
And they crossed themselves for fear,
            All the knights at Camelot:
But Lancelot mused a little space;
He said, "She has a lovely face;
God in his mercy lend her grace,
            The Lady of Shalott."