After the Storm
The wrinkled forehead of the sky
Doth chase the sunbeams as they fly,
Like pale nuns in retreat;
Each drooping, half-averted eye,
Wet-lashed with rain drops; and the sweet
Moist earth is surfeited:
A pale, weak invalid, the day,
Hath risen from her bed.
And I am tired & my brain
Is drowsed with murmur of the rain;
Too dull I am for mirth,
Yet too indifferent for pain:
The shadows ride upon the earth—
Grey pickets of the night,
That drive before them on the plain
The fugitives of light.
from Verses Quale Press, 2019 (with introduction by Michele Leggott)
Lola Ridge (Rose Emily Ridge) (1873-1941) was born in Dublin and travelled to Australia with her mother when she was three years old. When she was six the Ridges moved to NZ and her mother married a gold miner in Hokitika. After a failed marriage to a gold-mine manager on the West Coast, Lola moved with her mother and son to Sydney, where she studied at the Academie Julienne. After her mother’s death in 1907, she moved to USA under a new name, eventually marrying fellow radical David Lawson and establishing herself as a poet, painter and political activist within a prestigious circle of poets. Her collection The ghetto and other poems (1918) cemented her place on the New York scene, and she published four further volumes of poetry. Terese Svoboba has published a biography on Lola: Anything that Burns You: A Portrait of Lola Ridge (2016). Verses is a selection of her Antipodean poems.
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