Apr 22 2012 1:00pm

Jane Austen Among the Women

Jo Walton photo by John W. is celebrating National Poetry Month by featuring science fiction and fantasy poetry from a variety of SFF authors. You’ll find classic works, hidden gems, and new commissions featured on the site throughout the month. Bookmark the Poetry Month index for easy reading.

This Sunday we’re featuring a poem by Jo Walton, “Jane Austen Among the Women,” originally published in the author’s LiveJournal here.


“Jane Austen Among the Women”

They offered glory or length of days
and she, who had seen death close,
had no stomach for it.

So she put on soft garments
and hid among the women
talking of children and recipes
and who had got a husband,
caro sposo.

So, circumscribed and circumstanced,
practicing petty accomplishments
and playing piano
until the possibility of playing forte
sneaked up on her slyly
and she began to write,
and cough.


“Jane Austen Among the Women” copyright © Jo Walton

Photo © John W. MacDonald

Teresa Nielsen Hayden
1. tnh
Oh, that's why the Brontës --

(You have permanently warped my world.)
2. AlBrown
Nicely done!
3. Darcy Fitz
"So, circumscribed and circumstanced/practicing petty accomplishments"

Jo Walton
4. bluejo
This is one of those poems where I don't know where it came from but once I thought of it it seemed inevitable.

I also don't know what genre it is. There's nothing in it but real people and classical mythology, but it somehow doesn't seem exactly mainstream.

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