— for David
Most of us wouldn’t regret publishing “Flush,”
VW’s biography of Barrett Browning’s cocker,
but she did: “I shall be very much depressed,
I think . . . They’ll say it’s charming, delicate,
ladylike . . . I must not let myself believe that
I’m simply a ladylike prattler.” If she’d known
Olivia, David’s black Lab, she’d hardly have
been able to prattle before Olivia charged
the door when you rang the bell, pawed
you down if you were careless, entered
before David reined her in and grinned.
We’ve been sharing reading suggestions
these doldrum pandemic days, turned back
to our own libraries now that the public’s
shut. He’s sure to have the last two tomes
of her diaries, which we lack. Volume three
says she did a lot of dog walking, sometimes
with Leonard, often not; her most beloved
companion “Pinka,” Vita’s pure-breed black
cocker spaniel she surely must have walked
down to the river, kicked around the stones
that would fill her pockets that last day. . .
The editorial board of Voyages mourns with deep regret the recent loss of the American poet, translator and editor Stuart Friebert. We will miss his enthusiasm for literature, his multicultural expertise and his talent.