Wuthering Heights

Wuthering Heights & Gondal Poems


From 1837 to 1848 Emily Bronte, the author of the famous novel Wuthering Heights, wrote a collection of poetry known as 'the Gondal Poems.' These poems were peopled with heroes and heroines. They tell of the life of the imagination, the place of her retreat. These poems were a hymn to the imagination, to her private world. It was a world where she expressed a vision of the essential oneness of life. It was a vision, too, that came to find its apotheosis in Wuthering Heights. It was a vision gradually and haltingly articulated of a radiant world "marred by her growing awareness of humanity's misery." These years were a decade, for Bronte, in which the unity of the individual with the universe formed the basis for her intuitive sense of humankind's oneness.-Ron Price with thanks to Winifred Gerin, Emily Bronte, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1997, pp.144-154.

Your vision, too, was one of death

to which we all advanced

with those wild-eyed charioteers,

our day-to-day hours,

drawing us to be with those we love,

undivided, all and only one--beyond the veil,

where finally the sleep our lifted in eternity.

Your vision, too, brooding as it was

on the nature of things,

had a converse with angels,

holy, heavenly, surely a leaven

that leavened your world of being

and furnished the power

through which your art manifested.1

1 due in part, at least, to the new forces emerging in the world in the 1840s. Perhaps Bronte experienced what the Bab had prayed for during these years; namely, for that which will bring comfort to their minds, will rejoice their inner beings, will impart assurance to their hearts.(The Bab, Selections, 1976 p.179.)

1 there is no question, too, of the great power released into the world in the 1840s: all the world's which the Almighty hath created benefited through the power released by the Babi martyrs of the 1840s.(Gleanings, p.161)

Ron Price

6 July 2001

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Thanks for posting this I never knew of the gondola poems. It is very interesting to see how the poems developed into the classic of withering heights.