Ennis Quadrangle, Patron Saint of Honne and Tatemae, acrylic and collage on stonehenge paper, 2009 by Sarah Atlee. Some rights reserved.
The Lady Victory is a wonderful collection imagined within the walls of a home for unmarried pregnant girls. This is the setting for Jane's poems, but that tells you nothing of the warmth, love and humor to be found among the pages.
Jane chose my painting Ennis Quadrangle, Patron Saint of Honne and Tatemae for the book's cover. She and I talked about things that go unsaid, either because they are forbidden, or maybe just thought of as dangerous words. I can imagine many things going unsaid inside Victory.
See my previous post to learn more about the meaning of Ennis Quadrangle.
Here is one of my favorite poems (reproduced here with permission):
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from Part II: Dear Little Flame the Love Letters of Sister B.
Dear little wind behind the rain,
I wonder if you received the crocheted hat I made for you. I should have saved it for your birthday, but my favorite is Thanksgiving. They probably think these gifts come from your mother. She would have sent you pink but I thought purple. She would have dressed you in leotard and tutu. Little violet, your mother loved to dance. She had all the Victory girls doing the Pony on the screened-in porch. I secured permission for her to stage a mini Oklahoma. Mother S. insisted they leave out Ado Annie's song - Can't Say No. In my three year stint at Victory only your mother knew what to do with guilt and shame. She made everybody love her. If you ever feel like dancing, you best not fight against it. Everybody's born to something.
Born to write to you, Sister B.
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The Lady Victory is available at Full Circle Books in Oklahoma City, or from Amazon. Jane is the featured author and will read selected poems at Full Circle's Final Sunday Poetry Reading on 24 June, 2012. (See Full Circle's Events page for details.)