Last year, I took Dean Celia Easton’s evening course, Major Authors: Jane Austen. And although now I can speak about Austen’s writing with a respectable amount of grace and poise, the class also drove me near the breaking point of my sanity. To that point, half an hour before the final exam, I wasn’t studying—I was writing poetry.
A Lady Wants Me Dead
Elizabeth Bennett once broke down
my bedroom door and shot me,
sending me straight to hell.
Elinor Dashwood twisted on my ankles
until my feet snapped off at the joints.
Fanny Price sent me into a storm
without an umbrella
and with no horse,
dooming me to a life of pneumonia.
Catherine Morland walked about me in a circle,
slowly slicing my skin
with reams of fresh paper.
Lady Susan sent me a letter
luring me to a pit of sharks.
Anne Elliot took my money for her father’s estate,
forcing me into poverty.
Emma Woodhouse married me
to a a vat of cyanide.