Monday, 7 February 2011

Rush of Words

The second book read for Virago Reading Week was Antonia White's Frost in May.
Much has been written on it, so I shall not.
'She read on and on, enraptured. She could not understand half, but it excited her oddly, like words in a foreign language sung to a beautiful air. She followed the poem vaguely as she followed the Latin in her missal, guessing, inventing meanings for herself, intoxicated by the mere rush of words. And yet she felt she did understand, not with her eyes or her brain, but with some faculty she did not even know she possessed.' Antonia White Frost in May

When I read this it so struck a chord with me.

Do you remember that feeling?


  1. I felt that way when I first began to read poetry, especially Wallace Stevens's Poems of our Climate for some reason. It is seasonally appropriate right now, so here's the opening:

    Clear water in a brilliant bowl,
    Pink and white carnations. The light
    In the room more like a snowy air,
    Reflecting snow. A newly-fallen snow
    At the end of winter when afternoons return.

    By the way, I found a copy of Union Street at the library!

  2. Oh what a wondeful poem - and oh so fitting for the quote. Hurrai you found Union Street. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

  3. Thank you for visiting my blog and mentioning this post! What a lovely quote. I have felt that way about poetic prose, but not often about poetry itself...I'm still searching for that feeling. :)

  4. I've never read it, and with all your selections I could start quite an incredible library! But I do know the feeling when a book touches and moves you and you really feel like it's talking to you. Have a beautiful day today!

  5. What a beautiful photo and a moving post. Yes, I remember that feeling!
    Thanks for visiting my blog recently :-)


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