English, Department of



Amy Clampitt

Date of this Version


Document Type



The George Eliot Review 18 (1987)


Published by The George Eliot Review Online https://GeorgeEliotReview.org


Laid in unconsecrated Eround, a scandal

still-note how good Gerard Hopkins

recoiled from what a queer, awkward girl,

frail-shouldered, massive, rickety,

volcanic" out of an unconsecrated

attachment, a marriage that was

no marriage (one would have added,

till opprobrium intervened, but

something better), to a pockmarked

lightweight of a drama critic, saw blossom:

this domestic improbability, this

moonftower. They were happy.

Happiness: that-as it always has been-was

the scandal. As for the unembarrassed

pursuit of same, run giddily

amok, by now, among the lit-up

purlieus of a game show (died

of a conniption, beaming), time

spared her that, though not the cold shoulder,

the raw east wind, fog, the roar that issues

from the other side of silence; not headache,

kidney stone, the ravages of cancer-or

of grief foreseen, met with, engulfed by,

just barely lived through.

Nature (she'd written; year before) repairs

her ravages, but not all. The hills

underneath their green vestures bear

the marks of past rending. Johnny Cross,

younger by two decades, a banker,

athletic, handsome, read Dante with her,

fell in love; repeatedly, distressingly

spoke of marriage, was at last accepted.