Today, finally, the chill will break. Already I have opened the windows, and now the sounds of a cloudy summer morning are pouring through the screens . . . the scream of a pileated woodpecker, the clank and squeal of an early freight train, the yap of Bugsy the short-legged puppy as he scuttles down the sidewalk with his child.
I am rereading John Fowles's The Ebony Tower and thinking about forests and tales and chivalry, and wondering if Fowles was successful in creating a 1970s-era version of Marie de France's lais and knowing that he is not. Like so many male writers of his generation, his perceptions of women are fatally flawed, and yet he is clearly compelled by their mystery, and I find that compulsion both endearing and incredibly irritating. Sometimes--and, really, what I mean is constantly--I wonder why I return to books by Milton and Dickens and Roth and Updike and Fowles and so on and so on: I am always arguing with them. I suppose most other feminists would tell me I shouldn't even give them the time of day. And yet.
Ah, well. We are what we are. And I am a poet who loves the western canon but cannot stop talking back to it.