( The counterpart to Virginia Woolf's)
When Doubt slipped in
the angel flung the ink pot
at my legs. Its glass did not break
but the dark blood of
spilled, seeping through silk.
His wings raftered the ceiling
emitting glints of radiance
at a slant. His spare look
pale and smooth as the candle
guarding my desk -- but his visage
would not dissolve
into a softer intimacy -- just loom
waiting for a finished draft
and query letter sealed
with burgundy wax. This is what
he called love, the startling deed
that makes the partner respond, aware
of a thief in her dream who steals
the incentive. The root with its fibrous
stimuli -- thriving solely in motion.
Slow or swift water, it doesn't matter
as long as thought keeps flowing,
winding through the hours
without time. Only wind and light --
the breadth of his presence.
In a 1919 essay on Women in Professions, Virginia Woolf described the feminine essence that dominated so called moral homes as "The Angel in The House". It was said with wit and sarcasm in her defiance of traditional confinements that were placed on women's freedom, behavior and perspectives. She felt that when writing, a profession men and other conventional, Edwardian women frowned upon for women , she was breaking the rules and being watched by that moralistic influence. This influence was inhibiting her ability to write and induce unwelcome guilt. Therefore, she described how this female angel hovered over her writing desk with the shadow of her wings and glowing halo. Upset by this unwanted guardianship, Ms. Woolf confesses that she threw her inkpot at it and tried to vanquish it. The angel did not fade easily. And so this poem , of mine, is about the angelic counterpart. The angel of imagination and writing, the impetus of expression and imaginative risk. And when we , as writers, let uncertainty or self-doubt lead to idleness, something or someone must step in.