A Book’s Cover

Jane Austen (1775-1817) was an English writer whose books of romance and courtship have earned her a place as one of the most famous novelists of her time. Her novels are known for their wit, realism, and biting social commentary. Austen was never married.


Tomorrow I will curtsy at them,

Smiles and petticoats I will don,

masking the acerbic tongue and

sharp mind

from those who whisper:

old maid.


Tonight I mock them within these pages.

Weave my wit into an arch remark,

cast my hopes with each marriage plot,

bestow these characters with bits of myself,

and forget

the disappointment of the day.


Snuff out the light,

shuffle to the four poster bed,

arrange myself on the white counterpane,

careful not to wake my sister.


Dreams of Darcy float through my head:

I compose his surprising steps to love

and Elizabeth’s crumbling prejudice,

save them for the next time

I can sit down to my desk.


Ink, quill, parchment.

Another line, a sigh, a happy ending.

Another pair happily united,

the only moment I open the cover

and reveal my contents.

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