Portrait of the Artist as a Young Woman by Patricia Farewell


“Portrait of the Artist as a Young Woman” by Patricia Farewell


She wanted to plant
the long and learned
Face-of-Virginia Woolf
in her garden:
a firm bulb whose roots
would seek every
direction, whose strong,
fine, green stem would
relish its time
climbing the loam
back to the light
it had left on
the waves of the river Ouse.

Surely come spring
a leaf unlike
any other
would brush her ankle
and remind her
that rain and fog and
stark naked stars
could be trusted.
That leaf would
double, then
triple, and
finally a flower
would begin to bloom.

What a flower
it would be, burnt
sienna or
ocher petals
parting the air
as if to say
make way for me,
I have crouched under
your wicker chairs
and heard you chirp
about meaning.
I’ve swallowed your dust.
All will be new now.

But that was not
the bulb she had
been given.
The one she held
had been frozen.
Its shoots would be
any flower
nondescript and
likely to wilt
in hot morning sun.
Still, how she ached
to kneel and turn the earth.



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Patricia Farewell Artist Statement:

Patricia Farewell has an M.F.A. from Brooklyn College, New York, and has taught creative writing
to children and adults. Her work has been published in Reunion: The Dallas Review; Chelsea; The
American Poetry Review; The New York Quarterly; The Partisan Review; Caprice; The Formalist;
The Eleventh Muse; West Branch; Green Mountains Review; New Letters; Lalitamba; The
Widener Review, and other literary magazines. She won the Ken McLaren Award, The Arvon
Foundation Award, the Roberts Writing Award, and the 18th Annual Frederick Morgan Poetry
Prize, sponsored by Story Line Press.
Currently, she lives on a farm in Alma, Michigan.


Author: A Room of Her Own

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