Saturday, April 4, 2015

Angel In The House

( 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 India

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.




Yvonne D'Angelo said...

Being a painter of angels and a sensitive,thought this would be the right time to let you know how much I enjoy your insights into an artistic piece. First spotted you a year ago through Terri Windlings site. That is how you find me here.
your poetry is so beautiful. you give the reader much to contemplate upon.
Also I enjoy your pertinent art selections.
my art angel looks over my shoulder. Her whispers inspire me.

Gwendrina said...


I am so glad to meet you and I am also delighted that you took the time to look at my website, read my poetry and comment. Your kind words and insight are sincerely appreciated!!

I , too, feel angels are present in my life and there are times when I felt they saved me or helped me to avert certain events of chaos or disaster. And what a wonderful subject to paint. Again I am touched and honored by your lovely comments and insight.

Thank you so much