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Friday, March 03, 2006

Elinor Wylie

I hereby swear that to uphold your house
I would lay my bones in quick destroying lime
Or turn my flesh to timber for all time;
Cut down my womanhood; lop off the boughs
Of that perpetual ecstasy that grows
From the heart's core; condemn it as a crime
If it be broader than a beam, or climb
Above the stature that your roof allows.
I am not the hearthstone not the cornerstone
Within this noble fabric you have builded;
Not by my beauty was its cornice gilded;
Not on my courage were its arches thrown:
My lord, adjudge my strength, and set me where
I bear a little more than I can bear.

From "One Person"

I have loved this exquisite sonnet for many years now. I don't know anything about the poet or the work it is apparently excerpted from, but wow is this woman a deep thinker, and can she ever write! It is such a perfect poem to express a woman's service to God. And an architecture theme to boot!


elizabeth said...

some sources about her...

it would be interesting to research her; one source (that does not have any authority shown in it seems to link her to the women's movement, but it would be intresting to research this for certain... [] i always appreciate the quotes you have here; thanks.

thomasw said...

that poem is subtle. i recall reading it at some point in the past, and thinking initially it had to do with a woman's relationship with her husband and how christ worked within it :) those were days before i was informed about the true nature of the 'noble fabric', the church.

Dianne said...

lovely and inspiring

matthew christopher davidson said...

The thought of woman stretching herself to such extent is humbling and awe-inspiring. It makes (or should make) men out of boys.

It's not hard to see Mira in this. May Christ have mercy on me.

thomasw said...

update jenny!!! tell us about heulwen or something:)