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  • Writer's pictureNazifa Islam

Virginia Woolf Found Poem in Phantom Drift 6

Updated: Jul 12, 2020

I'm really excited to announce that another one of my Virginia Woolf found poems is out in the world! You can read "Leave Us" in issue 6 of Phantom Drift.

For some background on what these poems are exactly, check out this past blog post. It details the project pretty thoroughly and also directs you to where you can read some other published found poems.

You'll have to purchase a copy of Phantom Drift 6 to read "Leave Us." In case you need some extra enticement—it's almost like a mini-mystery or puzzle—here is the paragraph I drew on for the poem with the words I used highlighted. It's from Woolf's The Waves.

"Leave Us"

“‘Let us now crawl,’ said Bernard, ‘under the canopy of the currant leaves, and tell stories. Let us inhabit the underworld. Let us take possession of our secret territory, which is lit by pendant currants like candelabra, shining red on one side, black on the other. Here, Jinny, if we curl up close, we can sit under the canopy of currant leaves and watch the censers swing. This is our universe. The others pass down the carriage-drive. The skirts of Miss Hudson and Miss Curry sweep by like candle extinguishers. Those are Susan’s white socks. Those are Louis’ neat sand-shoes firmly printing the gravel. Here come warm gusts of decomposing leaves, of rotting vegetation. We are in a swamp now; in a malarial jungle. There is an elephant white with maggots, killed by an arrow shot dead in its eye. The bright eyes of hopping birds—eagles, vultures—are apparent. They take us for fallen trees. They pick at a worm—that is a hooded cobra—and leave it with a festering brown scar to be mauled by lions. This is our world, lit with crescents and stars of light; and great petals half transparent block the openings like purple windows. Everything is strange. Things are huge and very small. The stalks of flowers are thick as an oak tree. Leaves are high as the domes of vast cathedrals. We are giants, lying here, who can make forests quiver.’”

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