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Borrowed Words

Sometimes it’s easier to use words that aren’t your own.

“Life is many days. This will end.” “allow me to interpret this interesting silence” “Down, down, down.”

Borrowing words, borrowing emotion, borrowing experience. Do I find myself in these words? Or: lose myself?

Poetic justice is a wonderful invention – if you’re one of the good guys that is. The innocent ones, the beautiful, the deserving, the kind. Sometimes not. Else no Mr. Knightly for Miss Woodhouse. No pride, no prejudice. Real life is different.


“Time, thou must entangle this not I” “I go, I go, see how I go” “speak still so we may meet by the sound” “Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow” “I cannot love him”

The words drip into my life. Characters, too. Their joys, their sorrows. Lives that can be relived, revived even

“after death (The undiscovered country from whose bourn No traveller returns)”

Words are their essence. And mine.


“the dull, grey Tuesday our story starts” “What passing bells for these who die as cattle?” “The rest is silence.”

And yet: the silence is filled with echoes, with beginnings, recreated from the ashes of spoken words and penned lives. I write, therefore I am.

Again and again.

“That very night in Max’s room a forest grew and grew – and grew until his ceiling hung with vines and the walls became the world all around” “It must be your imagination then, and not theirs.”

And now?

And now.

I tear the page, I start again; the privilege of paper-selves, to be undone – and yet live on in borrowed words because…

sometimes it’s easier to use words that aren’t your own.

Words taken from the works of Jane Austen, William Shakespeare, Lewis Carroll, Maurice Sendak, James Joyce, J. K. Rowling, Wilfred Owen, and, of course, Anonymous (who might be a woman).

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