Danny Yee >> Poetry

Without Pride or Prejudice
a love poem after Jane Austen

More than twenty times have I turned the pages,
cringed at Mrs Bennett, laughed at Mr Collins,
and fallen in love with Lizzy Bennett,
with her sweet archness and her ready wit.

I have loved (and love) many women -
happily and unhappily, shyly and confidently,
women beautiful, intelligent, elegant, and witty -
but you are the first that ever made me think of Lizzy.

I can not recall the hour, or the look, or the words,
which laid the foundation. A pair of fine eyes
in a pretty face? Certainly, and a pleasing grace,
and a friendly smile for someone a little out of place.

But it is that mixture of sweetness and archness
which set the seal - a lively, playful spirit
and a wicked tongue, matched with an innocence
which disarms, an openness which bars offense.

It is almost enough to make me wish I had
a fine, tall person, handsome features, noble mien
and ten thousand (1812 pounds) a year.
But I am not forward, have no fear.

I am content with what you choose to give:
perhaps to throw a smile across the room;
perhaps to share a humorous inspiration -
to accept, I hope, my friendship and affection.

for Rita, April 1996

"I wonder who first discovered the efficacy of poetry in driving away love!"

"I have been used to consider poetry as the food of love", said Darcy.

"Of a fine, stout, healthy love it may. Every thing nourishes what is strong already. But if it be only a slight, thin sort of inclination, I am convinced that one good sonnet will starve it entirely away."

Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Poetry << Danny Yee