Tuesday, November 18

The line ‘fill your paper with the breathings of your heart’ came into my head this afternoon... and I’ve been unable to get it out.

(Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.
With the breathings of your heart.
Fill your paper) 

I read a while ago that those words belong to Wordworth, but I was reluctant to look them up. I was nervous I'd find out that he said them in the midst of something ugly. Or that the words aren’t his at all... they belong to someone sort've boring called Fred*.

(With the breathings of your heart. Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.)

My own words have been coming out quite clunkily today. Too many lists. Too much ‘telling’. Not enough poetry. Too many hyphens, and commas (and parenthesis) and falterings. So eventually I threw down my pen (metaphorically – I’ve been writing on a keyboard) and decided to type the line into Google. "To seek out the source." Why not?

Anyway - that's all a very long explanation to account for why I’m posting the following love letter snippet on here. It made my heart stop for a second. That’s all. The line ('fill your paper...') comes from this closing paragraph in (yes) a letter Wordsworth wrote to his wife, Mary. Here it is:  
‘I have infinite pleasure in the thought of seeing thee again in Wales; and travelling with thee. – I long for the day. Love me and think of me & wish for me, and be assured that I am repaying thee in the same coin [...] Write to me frequently & the longest Letters possible; never mind whether you have facts or no to communicate; fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. Most tenderly your friend & Husband W.W.’

I’m glad I looked. (‘Write to me frequently & the longest Letters possible...)


(Note: *No offense to Fred, whoever he is. I suppose writing that lovely line would show he has a beautiful soul. And his anonymity doesn’t make his poetry any less valuable than W.W’s. (Yeahyeah. I know.) But I wanted Wordsworth to’ve said this. He wrote so many other great lines – ‘Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting’, pretty much every line in ‘The world is too much with us’ – and I just wanted these words to be his also.)

(Pictures: the first is Glasgow and the rest are from around my friend Christi's beautiful light-filled house.)

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