24 July 2015

Friday's Literary Feast

Quotes from The Virago Book of Food:  The Joy of Eating

OPAL WHITELEY
1897 - 1991

Liar?  Lunatic?  Saint?  The case of Opal Whiteley remains fascinating.  Opal claimed to have written a diary at the age of five.  When it was published in 1920 by Atlantic Monthly, it was hailed vicariously as a hoax, the work of a poetical genius and the story of a magical and heartbreaking childhood.  Opal, 'the flower child of Oregon literature', was born in the United States, but spent much of her adult life in an English mental hospital.  She is buried in London's Highgate Cemetery.

Sometimes I share my bread and jam with yellow jackets.
They have a home on a bush
distant from the garden twenty trees and one.
Today I climbed the fence close to their home
with a piece and a half of bread and jam.
The half piece for them
and the piece for myself.
They all wanted to be served at once.

I broke it all into little pieces
and they had a royal feast there on the fence.
Yellow jackets are such interesting fairies
being the world's first paper-makers.

Opal
Opal Whiteley

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