Ann Claremont Le Zotte
Dear Virginia Woolf

      Love couldn’t have been sweeter, when you were
Writing about it in your glorious opera about the sea: the waves.
      Were your mannerisms and illnesses a mask?
Mine are, at least, partially. A flight from such desperation
      Was needed. Or is that only an illusion for us?
The real world exists in a circle, the turn of a sentence.
      Clear, slow, funny, precise: yes. In italics,
Between the neatly printed lines, lie silence. Not yours,
Or his or hers. A common planet divides us. “The ant’s a
      Centaur in his dragon world.” Those aren’t words
You dreamed up, but you could have put them down. It’s
Amusing to realize how insignificant we are, or what a small
      Part, of the everything you cherished more than
      Your voice; its resonance. “Pull down thy vanity.”
“A swollen magpie is a fitful sun.” Again Mr. Pound. You
      Despised him, understandably; but these stolen phrases
Echo a concern you knew well. How to be, nay, say—or rather express
      One’s own absurdity, without stroking the self.
And to come out not on top: but, a roof under a rainbow on a lake
And house and street. I’ll hold your hand gladly, mouse. Signed off.

Found In Volume 29, No. 01
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Ann Claremont Le Zotte
About the Author

Ann Claremont Le Zotte’s poems have appeared in The Plum Review, The New Republic and The Threepenny Review. She is the recipient of a 1996-97 Isabella Gardner Fellowship at the MacDowell Colony and a 1999 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award.