Poems of the Week


by Julia Griffin

“Rare Jane Austen letter to sister to be sold at auction … 
The letter, dated 16 September 1813 … is ‘a gem’, according to Kathryn Sutherland, an Austen scholar and trustee of Jane Austen’s House Museum. Bonhams, which will auction the letter on 23 October, said it is ‘full of lively detail, wit and charm’, vividly echoing the world [Austen] deftly portrayed in her novels’ and ‘written at the height of [her] literary powers’. … Bonhams believes the letter, which has been in a private collection since 1909, will fetch between £65,000 to £97,000 at auction.”
—The Guardian

Jane’s latest letter ought to fetch,
We’re told, some ninety thousand quid.
A sum so mad might make me kvetch
(And as you’ve just observed, it did).
But I would like to turn, instead,
To what I’ll bring when I am dead.

Now as for letters, done in ink,
I’m far too indolent, I fear;
For correspondence, though, I think
You’d find it hard to name my peer:
And every note, I’m proud to say,
Bears year, month, day, and time of day.

A taste, to tempt you. “Home tonight.”
(4:10) “When you’re in Bi-Lo, get
Some pasta.” (5:15). “Not white.”
(5:20). “Did you call the vet?”
(6:30). “Yes, I’m still alive,
Just late! XXX.” (9:05).

My Inbox is a treasure-pit:
Each message is, like Jane’s, a gem;
They are so full of charm and wit,
You’ll want to buy the lot of them.
So beat the crowd and order now!
My Powers In Progress: ninety thou.