"For most of history, Anonymous was a woman." Virginia Woolf

Friday, May 6, 2005

Also, in the life of poetry

Ah, the power of a hopeless love. Good for poetry, not always for waistlines.

She, my friend, was in love with a Catholic priest. "Passionately attached" is what, I believe, she called it. Alas, he didn't leave the priesthood and she went on to have... eight children? She was, later in life, a suffragist, and fought "to obtain the vote for women on the same terms as it is or may be granted to men. Its methods are those proper to writers - the use of the pen." Not quite as good as my favorite quote by Frances Griffin, who was known for verbally smacking unprogressive men upside the head, but still satisfying.

By Alice Meynell

I must not think of thee; and, tired yet strong,
I shun the thought that lurks in all delight -
The thought of thee--and in the blue Heaven's height,
And in the sweetest passage of a song.

Oh, just beyond the fairest thoughts that throng
This breast, the thought of thee waits, hidden yet bright;
But it must never, never come in sight;
I must stop short of thee the whole day long.

But when sleep comes to close each difficult day,
When night gives pause to the long watch I keep,
And all my bonds I needs must loose apart,
Must doff my will as raiment laid away, -
With the first dream that comes with the first sleep
I run, I run, I am gathered to thy heart.

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