To Virginia by George Ella Lyon


“To Virginia” by George Ella Lyon


If you knew

I sat

at your feet


             I think you do know


If you’d seen me

retrace your steps

Hyde Park Gate              where you were born

Gordon Square              birthplace of Bloomsbury

Asheham                        now a cement works

Monks House last home


             perhaps you did see


If you’d watched

your words

light my darkness

like the Milky Way


If you’d felt me

pouring over

leaning into

your diary

and To the Lighthouse

and Jacob’s Room


boarding an aeroplane

to cross the Atlantic

catching a train

from Paddington

to St Ives

to stay in the nursery

at Talland House

sacred site

of your childhood summers

before your mother’s death

slammed that gate


If you’d heard me

reading aloud your words

in that room where you drew

your baby breaths

and blew bubbles of words,

where you were translated by time

into a fierce, dreamy, always

ink-stained girl


would you have said

do you say


Welcome, daughter?



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George Ella Lyon Artist Statement:

Though I write in many forms, I am first of all a poet; which means my job is to see and sing the connections between things. The spider’s web is a delicious image for this and for the wonder of something newly made from old patterns, like the sentences writers spin each day.

The strength of my web comes from family, friends, words, music, dreams, mountains, and the joy of making.

Think about the life you are spinning and how you could write about its different strands.

Kentucky Poet Laureate, George Ella Lyon is best known for her poem “Where I’m From.”

Author: A Room of Her Own

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