Lidia Yuknavitch’s The Book of Joan
26 minutes ago
|The Feathered Shaft|
Toronto: Harlequin, 1970
"What a beautiful woman," Dorothy said suddenly, looking over her shoulder, "with the gorgeous red hair."Dorothy seems positively fixated on the heiress, pressing Al for information:
"I gather she hasn't a marriage to her credit."One year later, Dorothy remembers Carol well – "She was the most beautiful red head I've ever seen." – and the questions resume.
Al drew expansively his cigar and coughed a little. "Nope. A clean slate. And I'm not even sure she sleeps with her boy blues. There are those who say yea and those who say nay."
"Tried it once and didn't get it," Dorothy murmured.
"Nothing, nothing, just mumbling," Dorothy smiled sweetly.
Dead! Dead! And now before
The threshold of bereavèd Earnscliffe stand,
In spirit, all who dwell within our land,
From shore to shore!
Before that black-draped gate
Men, women, children mourn the Premier gone,
For many loved and worshipped old Sir John,
And none could hate.
And he is dead, they say!
The words confuse and mock the general ear—
What! can there yet be House and Members here,
And no John A.?
So long all hearts he swayed,
Like merry monarch of some olden line,
Whose subjects questioned not his right divine,
But just obeyed
His will's e'en faintest breath,
We had forgotten, 'midst affairs of State,
'Midst Hansard, Second Readings and Debate,
Such things as death!
Swift came the dread eclipse
Of faculty, and limb, and life at last,
Ere to the Judge of all the earth he passed,
With silent lips,
But not insensate heart!
He was no harsh, self-righteous Pharisee—
The tender Christ compassioned such as he,
And took their part
As for his Statesman-fame,
Let History calm his wondrous record read,
And write the truth, and give him honest meed
Of praise or blame!
"It was my people who educated me. You see, they thought I was clever – perhaps I was to start with; and they crammed me with everything on earth a girl could learn. Latin, Greek, modem languages, mathematics, natural science, music, drawing, dancing, till I was stuffed to the throat with them. Je suis jusque là," and she put her hand to her chin with some dim attempt at feminine playfulness. "Like Strasbourg geese," she added slowly in a melancholy after-thought; "it may be good for the brain, but it's precious bad for the body."Blackbird's single desire is for endless sleep undisturbed by dreams. To this end, she uses her chemistry skills in making poison distilled from laurel leaves provided by an innocent suitor. Amy Levy killed herself by inhaling charcoal fumes.
|The Lower Slopes: Reminiscences of Excursions round the Base of Helicon|
London: Bodley Head, 1894
|The London Plane-Tree and Other Verse|
London: Unwin, 1889
Sacha looked up at him in his becoming running suit; he'd been sitting, or rather posing, for her as joint winner at the tape in her spirited picture of "A Dead Heat – the Finish," and she thought to herself as she looked, though he was her own brother, that a handsomer or finer-built or stronger-looking young man wasn't to be found that day in the length and breadth of England. She drew a deep breath, and added a delicate touch to the stiffened muscle of the straining forearm.Balancing the scene is Aunt Julia, "a distributor of tracts and good counsel gratis," fairly acting the role of chaperone. The threesome is joined the following day by the mysterious Mr Hayward, a bachelor who encourages athleticism in Sacha's brother – name: Owen – and delights in seeing him race other fit young men. A photographer by trade, Mr Hayward is Owen's "affectionate guardian". Two times a year, he leaves business aside to take his ward off to some exotic locale or other.
My deep resolve, this New Year's Day,
As written on a page of life,
Will be with honest heart to pray
The world be cleansed of hate and strife.
Nor shall my resolution end
In empty phrases as the air –
The stranger shall become my friend,
Not less in deed than in prayer.
There shall be neither east nor west,
Nor mountain range, nor ocean tide,
Where there is hunger in the breast
For that which my hands may provide.
To human need I pledge my part
This New Year's Day in loyal past –
Lord, may the motive of my heart
Find no betrayal in the act.