April is fleeing


As April is fleeing and aspersing some literary scandal. Why not? But wait . . . first let me drop the name – LAURA RIDING. And might you write – as she did – a poems about the body – “Body’s Head,” “Ears,” “Eyes,” and “Forehead.” 

Now that I have provided a few worthy prompts, -- let’s talk about LAURA RIDING – who was born LAURA REICHENTHAL on the 16th of January 1901. She was a Fugitive poet and – now here’s the scandal. On April 1929, she drinks Lysol and says “Good-bye chaps” to her fellow member of “Free Love Corner” and jumps from a fourth-floor window. She survives – as does Robert Graves – who jumps after her. She is said to be responsible for the break-up of Robert Graves’s first marriage. Lo! Are you ambitious? She has a book of collected poems – 477 pages, no less!

Here is the last stanza of Riding’s poem, “Forehead”:

This is the desert space of my face,
Wide and lonely and impassable,
Except when a shadow of sorrow
Darts across it furtively like a hunted deer
And hides in the hair and turns it gray.

And what might you say about your forehead?