This week it’s all desolation of the soul, whether from age or winter…or something else. For relief, we’ve got a new character to meet in Tom Jones.
The Forsaken, by Amy Lowell
Read by Xe Sands
This piece has long called to me, but I shied away from offering it for a whole host of reasons. But as I’ve been thinking quite a bit about what it means and has meant to be a woman, this piece continued to whisper to me to be voiced.
There are so many places in the world (heck, in the US) where this woman’s anguish would be commonplace. And thinking about this makes me so very angry. Thinking about not only the condemnation by society, but by her own family – that’s the truly crushing part.
So of course she is torn…of course she asks “Holy Mary” to take away her baby, and thereby her shame, while in the next breath, asking her to save him. Of course she does. She’s trying to decide which brand to have burned into her for the rest of her life.
An old man’s winter night by Robert Frost, by Robert Frost
Read by Diane Havens
Dark winter, and feelings of helplessness and isolation. Old age and its forgetfulness and fear.
Hurricane Sandy left many of the vulnerable cold and powerless. And it brought this poem by Robert Frost to mind.
Tom Jones – Book 2, Chapter 3, by Henry Fielding
Read by Mark Turetsky
Book 2 Chapter 3 of Tom Jones.
This is part of an ongoing project in which I will record and post one chapter per week of Henry Fielding’s Tom Jones over the course of four years.
So begins the story of Mr. Partridge, who will be something of an important character in this book, as we shall see. We also get a clearer picture of what Jenny Jones was up to before the foundling was set in Mr. Allworthy’s bed. Once again, poor Jenny is described as being unattractive (with her face being an insurance against any man desiring her) and as being “pert” (a derogatory term for “smart” or “educated”).
A few notes on the references in this chapter: Xanthippe was the wife of Socrates, and is usually described as something of a shrew. Also, Fielding once again uses an etching by William Hogarth to describe one of his characters. In this case, it’s the woman pouring out tea in the second panel of A Harlot’s Progress, which you can see for yourself here: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e1/Hogarth-Harlot-3.png