Ophelia

My locks are shorn for sorrow
Of love which may not be;
Tomorrow and tomorrow
Are plotting cruelty.

The winter wind tangles
These ringlets half-grown,
The sun sprays with spangles
And rays like his own.

Oh, quieter and colder
Is the stream; he will wait;
When my curls touch my shoulder
He will comb them straight.

by Elinor Morton Wylie

Comments (5)

Hair in flowing water is straightened.
Kim's comment is very true and in its clarity and simplicity does justice to the much wronged Ophelia. (I include Hamlet among those who grievously wronged her.) But I would like to think her suicide was neither planned nor conscious. I see her surrendering to the lure of the stream and scent of the flowers, not intentionally killing herself, but rather joining those sweet elements in nature with which she had more in common than with those conniving, self-centered, worldly people that make up the rotten court of Denmark. (And, much as I hate to say it, that includes Hamlet.)
Don't you get it, people? This is a poem about suicide. My locks are shorn for sorrow of love which may not be. [She has cut her hair because of love lost.] Oh, quieter and colder Is the stream; he will wait; When my curls touch my shoulder He will comb them straight. [The stream is quieter and colder and will wait for her. When she drowns herself, the water will take the curls out of her hair.]
A nice poem to read on the love in wait of a lady for her lover!
Optimistic lover who is under anxiety as shown by her unmade hair wish to meet a real love who would care for her. Nice poem