NaPoWriMo #20 – To a Tragic Victorian Novelist

We shared a name and heritage
though not a country of birth.
Our childhoods were vastly different
separated as we were
by both a century
and siblings;
You had twice more than I
but mine were all younger.

I am just now finding my way into
that world of writing you knew so well.

Your writing successes came
far earlier than mine:
Publishing feminist reviews at thirteen
and poetry at fourteen.
At that age, I was still composing odes to unicorns
and wondering if I would ever lose my braces.

So many stories, essays, poems,
you had two novels before you were twenty-seven
before you succumbed to another thing
we have, well had, in common.

I read today that as young as
eighteen you contemplated
pills
or
drowning
to escape the tortures of your body and soul.

Me too, younger even.

Your eventual death at your own hand, whether to escape
the deafness,
the sadness,
or
the madness you felt was coming
is a familiar emotional place.

I lived it,
breathed it,
survived it.

The finality of your choice,
inhaling deeply those choking fumes,
reminds me that
only by continuing to live
can I continue to write,
even if no one is reading
yet.

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2 Responses to NaPoWriMo #20 – To a Tragic Victorian Novelist

  1. Robin says:

    VERY powerful poem! This is really well written/gripping…and definitely, keep writing…people are/will read!!

  2. SimiliesSlip says:

    I do hope you continue to live…not just so you keep writing though I definitely enjoy reading what you write.

    And sometimes…if that is enough to keep you going then, by all means:)

    I like your parallels. Can you tell me who this other writer is?

    Sometimes I think most writers struggle with depression (I do at times) I’m not sure why that is? Is it somehow tied into creativity? Do we feel everything more deeply? I don’t know.

    I’m glad you made a different choice than the author you are writing about.