Under the Influence (HA 93)

House Arrest

Rereading Austen’s works so frequently
(at least three times a decade since my first
exposure to her creativity),
I marvel at her words. She slakes my thirst
for verbal elegance, my lust for wit.
I often scan one sentence several times;
I turn a page not guessing what word’s next.
She’s gentle with her narrative, and primes
my head to put my hand to better text.

I start with “just this one,” and though I know
the story, I discover with surprise
I’m rapt at every climax. So I go
on reading, but I soon exhaust supplies.
She died so young! From few I must ingest
the influence with which Jane Austen blessed.

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