Poetry

I’ve been reading a lot of poetry lately, from Yeats to Ferlinghetti to modern poets from various corners of the world.

The latest Goodreads newsletter to land in my inbox featured a particularly moving poem that reinforces the importance of libraries as places where lost adolescents can find themselves, begin to make sense of the world in their own way.

Oh, and it’s beautifully written—the image of a flower, left for later hands really resonated with me. But don’t take my word for it. See for yourself.

Jane Eyre, Unbanned

—upon hearing of a bill to ban books with gay characters in Alabama libraries

You think of Mr. Rochester, mad wives
in attics, Jane herself, as plain as flan.
You don’t remember Helen Burns, Jane’s friend

from school. Reader, I married her. I pressed
my eighth-grade self between those pages like
a flower, left for later hands. Helen.

“I like to have you near me,” she would cough,
romantically consumptive, after Jane
sneaked to her sick-bed. “Are you warm, darling?”

We’ll always find ourselves inside the book,
no matter what the book, no matter how
little we’re given. I was twelve; gay meant

nothing to me. I only knew I’d go
to Lowood Institution, rise at dawn,
bare knuckles to the switch, choke down the gruel,

pray to the bell, if this meant I could hold
another girl all night, if I could clasp—
this even if she died there while I slept,
this even if I died there in my sleep.

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About mina murray

Mina Murray is an Antipodean, whisky aficionado and (part-time) smut-peddler. Her work is published in anthologies by Cleis Press, Tempted Romance and Mischief Books, including Seductress: Erotic Tales of Immortal Desire; Best Bondage Erotica 2013; Brief Encounters: Tales of Fast Love; Sudden Sex: 69 Sultry Short Stories; The Mammoth Book of Quick & Dirty Erotica; Baby Got Back; The Big Book of Orgasms; Dressed to Impress; and Lords, Ladies, Butlers and Maids. Look out for more sexy reads in 2015 in Three of Hearts, Conquests: An Anthology of Smoldering Viking Romance and Dirty Dates. Visit Mina at her blog | twitter | pinterest
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