Updated November 12, 2000
Created August 15, 1997
1. 10 "Birds are singing up and down and in an out of all around us," said Susan.
2. 13 "Through the chink in the hedge," said Susan, "I saw her kiss him. I raised my head from my flower- pot and looked through a chink in the hedge. I saw her kiss him. I saw them, Jinny and Louis, kissing. Now I will wrap my agony inside my pocket-handkerchief. It shall be screwed tight into a ball. I will go to the beech wood alone, before lessons. I will not sit at a table, doing sums. I will not sit next Jinny and next Louis. I will take my anguish and lay it upon the roots under the beech trees. I will examine it and take it between my fingers. They will not find me. I shall eat nuts and peer for eggs through the brambles and my hair will be matted and I shall sleep under hedges and drink water from ditches and die there."
3. 15 "I love," said Susan, and I hate. I desire one thing only. My eyes are hard. Jinnys eyes break into a thousand sand lights. Rhodas are like those pale flowers to which moths come in evening. Yours grow full and brim and never break. But I am already set on my pursuit. I see insects in the grass. Though my mother still knits white socks for me and hems pinafores and I am a child, I love and I hate."
4. 61 "I will not send my children to school nor spend a night all my life in London. Here in this vast station everything echoes and booms hollowly. The light is like the yellow light under an awning. Jinny lives here."
5. 98 "But who am I, who lean on this gate and watch my setter nose in a circle? I think sometimes (I am not twenty yet) I am not a woman, but the light that falls on this gate, on this ground. I am the seasons, I think sometimes, January, May, November; the mud, the mist, the dawn. I cannot be tossed about, or float gently, or mix with other people . . . I shall have children; I shall have maids in aprons; men with pitchforks; a kitchen where they bring the ailing lamb to warm in baskets, where the hams hang and the onions glisten. I shall be like my mother, silent in a blue apron locking up the cupboards."
6. 131 "When I came into the room tonight," said Susan, "I stopped, I peered about like an animal with its eyes near to the ground. The smell of carpets and furniture and scent disgusts me. I like to walk through wet fields alone, or to stop at a gate and watch my setter nose in a circle, and to ask, Where is the hare? . . . The only sayings I understand are cries of love, hate, rage and pain. . . I shall never have anything but natural happiness. It will almost content me. I shall go to bed tired. I shall lie like a field bearing crops in rotation; in the summer heat will dance over me; in the winter I shall be cracked with the cold. . . My children will carry me on; their crying, their going to school and coming back will be like the waves of the sea under me. . . I love with such ferocity that it kills me when the object of my love shows by a phrase that he can escape. He escapes, and I am left clutching at a string that slips in and out among the leaves on the tree-tops. I do not understand phrases."
7. 171 "Summer comes, and winter," said Susan. "The seasons pass. The pear fills itself and drops from the tree. The dead leaf rests on its edge. But steam has obscured the window. I sit by the fire watching the kettle boil. I see the pear tree through the streaked steam on the window-pane. . . I have lost my indifference, my blank eyes, my pear-shaped eyes that saw to the root. I am no longer January, May or any other season, but am all spun to s fine thread round the cradle, wrapping in a cocoon made of my own blood the delicate limbs of my baby."
8. 190 "I am fenced in, planted here like one of my own trees."
9. 215 "But I have seen life in blocks, substantial, huge; its battlements and towers, factories and gasometers; a dwelling place made from time immemorial after an hereditary pattern. These things remain square, prominent, undissolved in my mind. I am not sinuous or suave; I sit among you abrading your softness with my hardness, quenching the silver-grey flickering moth-wing quiver of words with the green spurt of my clear eyes."
10. 228 "I grasp, I hold fast," said Susan. I hold firmly to this hand, any ones, with love, with hatred; it does not matter which."
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