Edith Wharton's Letters from the Underworld: Fictions of Women and Writing

By Candace Waid | Go to book overview

TWO
The Woman Behind the Door

(Ethan Frome)

Why should, of all things, man, unruled,
Such unproportioned dwellings build?

No creature loves an empty space;
Their bodies measure out their place.
But he, superfluously spread, Demands more room alive than dead;
And in his hollow palace goes,
Where winds, as he, themselves may lose.

-- Andrew Marvell, "Upon Appelton House

The gate clanged on him, and he went his
way
Amid the alien millions, mute and grey,
Swept like a cold mist down an unlit strand,
Where nameless wreckage gluts the stealthy
sand,
Drift of the cockle-shells of hope and faith
Wherein they foundered on the rock of death.

-- Edith Wharton, Orpheus

-51-

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