THE ENGLISH NOVEL
by Linda Pastan
from An Early Afterlife (Norton)
In the English Novel, where I spent my girlhood,
I used to think chilblains were a kind of biscuit,
and everything was always pearled with fog--
the moors with their purpling heather
and the beveled windows where the heroines,
my sisters, waited for heroes
who would find them eventually, after one or both
threaded their way through some kind of moral
labyrinth, shadowed and thorny. He was worth waiting for,
and anyway the slowness of the clocks was deliberate
as if minutes, like pence, had different meanings then.
There was no polyester. Everything was brocade and velvet,
even the landscapes, those hills embroidered
with flowers, though sex was hardly mentioned
it was clearly a scent in the air like the sachets
in cupboards, subtle but pervasive as the smell
of lavender or viburnum or tallow from all the smoky,
snuffed-out candles. Furniture and forests, marriages
were eternal then, and though there was always a plot
it hardly mattered. As for too much coincidence,
doesn't the moon always wander through the sky at the exact
moment the lovers are wandering through the park, even today,
even in this city with its fake Victorian faades?
And all the familiar faces we notice at the movies
Or across a restaurant, couldn't they be our half-brothers
or cousins, lost in the deep and mysterious gene pool--
descendants, some of them, of Emma and Mr. Knightley,
or the ones with Russian faces descended from Ladislaw maybe,
who could have come from a place just a few hours by carriage
from the shtetl where my great-great-grandmother
somehow acquired her blond hair and blue blue eyes?
Recommended by lexluvsclark and she is so right, because Rose just rocks...I believe she's the same person who wrote my favorite Phantom Menace slash: Drift
And on another sappy, drippy note, this is probably true:
What's your brand of sexy?
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Romantic-Sexy.... Your fantasies involve love, not lust. You are a fantastic kisser, and for very good reason: it's your favorite thing. You are sappy as hell, and you don't care who knows it.