'No Biographer Could Possibly Guess This Important Fact About My Life ...'
Photograph courtesy of Pixabay
At this time of year I’m reminded of my favourite Virginia Woolf quote. Data mining companies might be able to extract every last mundane detail of my life, whether through my online shopping habits or by listening in via my fridge (though why they’d want to is beyond me), but they will never begin to glimpse the private, magical moments I spend in my garden …
"Many scenes have come & gone unwritten, since it is today the 4th Sept, a cold grey blowy day, made memorable by the sight of a kingfisher, & by my sense, waking early, of being again visited by 'the spirit of delight.' 'Rarely, rarely comest thou, spirit of delight.' That was I singing this time last year; & sang so poignantly that I have never forgotten it, or my vision of a fin rising on a wide blank sea. No biographer could possibly guess this important fact about my life in the late summer of 1926: yet biographers pretend they know people."(1)
Woolf is quoting from Percy Bysshe Shelley's poem, 'Song':
Rarely, rarely, comest thou,
Spirit of Delight!
Wherefore hast thou left me now
Many a day
Many a weary night and day
'Tis since thou art fled away.
SOURCES AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS:
(1) Virginia Woolf, Diaries, September 4 1927
With grateful thanks and acknowledgements to Gretchen Rubin for the link to Shelley's poem.
Copyright © Karen Meadows 2018