Eric Elshtain

Three Poems

[Emma said something about the duty of woman, how. . .]

Emma said something about the duty of woman, how
strongly had he not expected to give me time to be a
more studied detachment; and that he had always meant

to take up any margin. Before
he finished cursing, but I ought to be in silence. This is
our consumption of bread, his feelings warmer. I can.

Yes, said almost wistfully: you’re the only man who might be
useful, and he asked whether we were here,
Sunday after Sunday, unwavering,

not sorry to have only one to whom he had
nothing to say, how she suffers spiritual
violation. Through its closed doors he heard her declare that

she did not forget that among the rest of the heights she had
to have just as the trees were budding snow still lingered in
the marriage of Miss Smith with her finger.


[Even you, Cathy began searching for some place in. . .]

Even you, Cathy began searching for some place in
Paris. What is that? Meanwhile we’ll stick to the child. The old house!
Ah, shaking back the kiss: you know you don’t

like to hear a woman has many things. I like your
looks on Tuesday. I’m glad they ain’t swell enough
for him in company. People feel with their old twinkle,

and I cannot stop. And you see we
were both of her? The ball, the man on this
wall. His manner was almost always at home?

It’s because they belong to her temples and neck; and what
use were anger and remembrance. But what struck his
lower lip twitched a little while, etc. She says

you are beginning to think I’m ever going to be out
of arm’s length, by the gaping lattice, echoing
the moor subsided as soon as passion has died, anxiously.


[He was evidently an untruth. Or the horses.]

He was evidently an untruth. Or the horses.
But hush, murmured the princess and her husband, the
world, fastening in finality. It has

sunk him, I shall talk about it. But the likeness
is much beyond her own nature. Yes: but I cannot keep
one’s eyes out. That he always looked when he came to

the degree of confidence towards Harriet,
who can feel at all so imperious
as you, or cause for this particular afternoon, the smile

partly remained as ever, flew farther down the middle,
how, it would impress her father, and the
folks you’d been taught to believe that it will be of use

for them to be lost to think that tea was made
for you. What are we, probably this basket with pink
ribbon. And yet you cannot really change it.

Note: The four texts statistically analyzed by Gnoetry0.2 for this gnoetic experiment by end-user Eric Elshtain are The Custom of the Country (1913), by Edith Wharton; Emma (1815), by Jane Austen; Sex and Common-Sense (1922), by A. Maude Royden (English preacher and social worker); Wuthering Heights (1847) by Emily Bronte.

Wendy XuEric Elshtain conducts poetry workshops with hospitalized children in two Chicago hospitals through Snow City Arts and teaches literature at Better Boys Foundation. His writing has appeared in many print and on-line journals,
suchas American Letters & Commentary, Denver Quarterly, Chicago Review, McSweeney’s, Ploughshares, Certain Circuits, TextSound, Truck, and others. The author of several published chapbooks, he has a full-length book of poetry forthcoming from Verge Books. Elshtain edits 
Beard of Bees Press