A Revision of D. H. Lawrence’s Women

Natalie Wall explores and revises D. H. Lawrence’s female characters through reworkings of his own prose.

 

About the pieces: After reading and studying a lot of D. H. Lawrence’s work for her dissertation, Natalie became increasingly frustrated at Lawrence’s presentation of his female characters and so decided to try and create some of her own using snippets of Lawrence’s own prose from his novel The Lost Girl. The results were these character study/poem hybrids which aim to present complex and unusual characters, with less of the misogyny.

#1 

Here we are then,  

in this year of grace, 

A calm year of plenty. 

But one chronic and dreary malady; 

That of the odd woman. 

However it be, it is a tragedy. 

A terrible intoxication,  

Genuinely refined, elegant,  

A fluttering speaking voice,  

Most beautiful. 

And charming, entrancing, lovely, 

Floated down from heaven 

And sallied forth  

To show what could be done. 

 

#2 

Now this was an opportunity destined for snatching. 

A pretty girl so fresh,  

Passing silent and shadowy, 

Who did not forget all her strength. 

A handsome, vigorous young woman 

Mattered more than any sweet voice. 

She despised fairy fantasy. 

Grey eyes gleamed, 

Moved to impatience 

With a fleet, light, hurried step.  

Not a grain of human feeling 

Could bear more. 

 

#3 

And so she trudged, dauntless, miles she trudged,  

Intent like some magic dark river. 

It was evident she was not a lady,  

The drawing of flowers in watercolour seemed 

Domestic debacle and horror. 

She has a curious ascendancy,  

A soft, near, sure voice, like a secret touch, 

She abhorred consciousness. 

Seemed to slide without the slightest challenge 

The cruel thorn in outspoken breast. 

Secret intimacy, secret exulting most repugnant. 

Twisted, nervous, heart-suffering 

In her own inadequacy. 

Almost defiantly she would turn quiet. 

 

(All words are attributed to Lawrence’s The Lost Girl, first published in 1920, but selected and arranged by Natalie Wall.)

Natalie is a third year English Literature student and one of the editors of the Bubble’s Creative section who, when not slogging through Lawrence for her dissertation, enjoys reading, writing, painting, and creating edible (or not) experiments in the kitchen.

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