“the way a matronly merchant / Might brush off her lap, at the iron end of the market day”: Monica Ferrell’s “In the Grips of a Sickness Transmitted by Wolves”

I’ve wanted to visit Italy for years—the descriptions of the light and the scenery and the food are always so delicious, don’t you think?

I just came across Monica Ferrell’s “In the Grips of a Sickness Transmitted by Wolves,” an atmospheric, creepy sort of poem set in Sorrento that calls up a different kind of association; it made me think of Webster’s Duchess of Malfi, actually. I love the poet’s use of sound, both in description and in the almost-rhymes, which give a sort of off-kilter quality to the lines. And the image of the merchant dusting off her lap at the “iron end” of the day is just wonderful. I wish I better understood the poem’s allusions though—if you do, please enlighten me!

In other poetry-related news, October8 was National Poetry Day in the U.K.; here’s a link of the Prince of Wales reading (rather well, I might say) one of his favorite Dylan Thomas poems some time ago. 

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2 thoughts on ““the way a matronly merchant / Might brush off her lap, at the iron end of the market day”: Monica Ferrell’s “In the Grips of a Sickness Transmitted by Wolves”

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