Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2018  Vol. 17 No. 1
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back LINDA BIERDS

Virginia Woolf at Seventeen: The Warboys Journal One

I must make some mark on paper  . . . tho’ my mark must be frail
& somewhat disjointed.
—Virginia Woolf

I am practicing my penmanship with various nibs, this one thin as the beak of a lark. Push, pull. Push, pull.

~

heroic resolution to change my ideas of calligraphy

dear but somewhat too romantic pen

This This is written with my dear, but somewhat too

~

The village of Warboys rests in the Fens. On a padding of carpets I rest in our Punt, watching the wide sky, the lavish cloud conglomerations. High above me, tossed like embers, bats are catching the day’s last light.

What a beautiful world we live in!

I am very sorry that I cannot find anyone
to agree in this matter with me. This at last

This This was one of the last things that

~

If I go on at this rate methinks I shall soon have finished this book—but the fever will not last—I know the disease well. The world, the word. On the road today to the Rectory: a horse cart, four windmills, pure air for fathoms & fathoms & acres & acres.

~

This I

This I write in the year of a

~

We traveled to Ramsey today, a market town on the border of the Fens. Running north, a wide street called the Great Whyte. When Oliver Cromwell’s cousin longed for a new coat, fabric was sent to Ramsey from London. The year was 1666. Within the fabric’s spun & twisted & polished threads, bubonic plague nested. The cousin, the tailor & 400 villagers died.

~

This sheet of paper if it had followed the fate

Within the fabric’s polished

~

Clouds today & mist, but as we drove along, the sun shot a shaft of light down & we beheld a glorious expanse of sky & far away over the flat fields a spire caught the beam & glittered like a gem in the darkness & wetness of the surrounding countries.

~

Usages of linen predate the book & still

fabric spindle spire beam

the glory grows & still we

~

How can things so finely made unmake us so completely?  


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