Tilly Shaw

Sad to hear that Tilly Shaw has passed away. She was my literature professor in undergrad days at UCSC. Wonderful, kind woman, feminist, poet, traveler, and swimmer; she introduced me to the work of James Joyce and Djuna Barnes.

Driving Back from Stonehenge

Hard to know what we weep for, everything
so very old. I did not want to leave,
carried by the bus, going home through darkening
landscape, sky still mother of pearl, still shoals,

everything so very old, I didn’t want to leave,
of light while all that which lay below
landscape. Sky still mother of pearl, still shoals
deepened and became indistinct

of light while all that which lay below
I would not want to die, she said
deepened and became indistinct
in a country without twilight

I would not want to die, she said
light instantaneous with night
in a country without twilight
I need the long long slow hours

light indistinct with night
carried by the bus, going home through darkening
to greet the long long slow hours
find what it is we weep for…

— Tilly Shaw (Tilly Shaw — Perihelion, a Journal of Poetry)

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