Saturday, October 5, 2013

Review of "At a Dinner Party" by Amy Levy


"At a Dinner Party" by Amy Levy (1861 - 1889) was offered by Poets.org's Poem-A-Day on October 5, 2013.  A link to the poem may be found here:

http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/23709?utm_source=PAD%3A+At+a+Dinner+Party+by+Amy+Levy&utm_campaign=poemaday_100513&utm_medium=email

According to the editor's notes, Ms. Levy's poetry often dealt with themes of same-sex love.  In this light, this simple ballad of two quatrains sings of how two women's eyes may meet across the dinner table, but it would not occur to anyone else at the table that they were flirting or perhaps falling in love.  The love is described as "secret," whether by chance or design.  One wonders if frustrations with having to be secretive about her same-sex attraction were a factor in her suicide just shy of the age of twenty-eight.

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