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Charlotte Mew: Rooms

I remember rooms that have had their part
     In the steady slowing down of the heart.
The room in Paris, the room at Geneva,
The little damp room with the seaweed smell,
And that ceaseless maddening sound of the tide—
     Rooms where for good or for ill—things died.
But there is the room where we (two) lie dead,
Though every morning we seem to wake and might just as well seem to sleep again
     As we shall somewhere in the other quieter, dustier bed
     Out there in the sun—in the rain.


Public Domain.

Charlotte Mary Mew was born in London on November 15, 1869. Her productive years as a poet straddled the Victorian and Modern eras, and her later, more modernist work (of which this poem is a good example) was praised by Ezra Pound, Siegfried Sassoon, Vita Sackville West, Thomas Hardy, and Virginia Woolf. Through most of her adult life, Mew wore masculine attire and kept her hair short, adopting the appearance of a dandy. Haunted by unrequited passion and tormented with fear of madness, Mew lived her life in poverty and despair, taking her own life on March 24, 1928. After Mew’s death, her friend Alida Monro collected and edited Mew’s poetry for publication. The Rambling Sailor appeared in 1929 and brings together her early work with her more mature and successful poetry from the teens and twenties.

2 comments on “Charlotte Mew: Rooms

  1. Loranneke
    November 4, 2022

    Sweet poem — this so reminds me of my writing process as I wrote my book These Many Rooms…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vox Populi
      November 4, 2022

      These Many Rooms is such a beautiful book, an extended elegy for the passing of both a husband and a way of being in the world.

      It is one of my favorite books of all time.

      >

      Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on November 4, 2022 by in Poetry, Social Justice and tagged , , , , .

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