A collection of poetry edited by Maura Dooley, who invited a group of fellow poets to express something of their own connection with Jane Austen, one of this country’s greatest writers. Dooley was a poet-in-residence at Jane Austen’s home in Chawton, Hampshire. The house, now a museum, is where Austen wrote most of her novels.
In her room in the quiet house
her small table is a saucer
where her quick pen dips, her mind
in conversation with the world.
In the garden, flowers open their throats
to the rummage of bees, till dusk darkens
the page, and a last rush of starlings
scrawls its closing sentence on the sky.
In a hundred years, a hundred more,
a girl reading at a table laps the words
of every elegant line, each turned
page an opening door.
Reader, desire is the dark avenue
to Pemberley. You hardly breathe,
imagining the dance, a light hand laid
between your shoulder-blades.
A collection of poetry featuring Gillian Clarke, Jonathan Davidson, Imtiaz Dharker, Maura Dooley, Ian Duhig, Lavinia Greenlaw, Jackie Kay, Stephen Knight, Zaffar Kunial, Paula Meehan, Blake Morrison, Daljit Nagra, Katrina Naomi, and Stephanie Norgate.