Literary Lingerie

By Morgan O’Neill

Summer is here and with the long languid days, ever warm, I think of Lake George east of the Adirondacks in upstate New York.  It is not hard.  My parents, both deceased for many years are buried there.  I don’t mean in a cemetery landed and occupied by strange neighbors on a hillside somewhere.   I mean their cremated remains are scattered on the lake.  Morbid?  No.  Far from it.  Since I was three, more than 50 plus years ago they started taking me there and the memories of their joy at being isolated on the islands away from civilization remains indelibly etched in my mind. … Read More


By Morgan O’Neill

It may be strange to say this, but to me, a woman lounging somewhere – on a couch reading near the fire on a blustery winter night or perhaps, early in the evening while the light is still good under a tree on a breezy late spring day is sexy.  Maybe she is squirreled away in a library nook, alone, open book in hand, intently focused, oblivious to all else around her; legs akimbo.  Maybe she is there with tortoise shell eyeglasses on the bridge of her nose, or dangling by their stem between her teeth. … Read More


By Morgan O’Neill

Act IV. Scene 7, the body count is rising in what many consider Shakespeare’s greatest tragedy.  Hamlet’s turn is coming, but not before Ophelia, unable to cope any longer… succumbs.  Her brother, Laertes listens as Gertrude describes the scene:

There is a willow grows askant the brook
That shows his (hoar) leaves in the glassy stream.
Therewith fantastic garlands did she make
Of crowflowers, nettles, daisies, and long purples,
That liberal shepherds give a grosser name,
But our cold maids do “dead men’s fingers” call
Them….… Read More


By Morgan O’Neill

Call me Ishmael, or….

Call me Insane. Recently, I cannot recall how long ago, being the pauper I am, I was perusing old books at an ancient book store.  Call it the pre-Kindle, pre-e-book era.  I thought I would go on a trip, but having no income to outlay for such a venture I imagined I might escape in a story.  Then I saw, on the shelf, Moby Dick, and I decided to go to sea.  It was not without some trepidation.… Read More


by Morgan O’Neill

Though it cannot be confirmed, Edmund Spenser is thought to be born in 1552 in London, twelve years before Shakespeare.  He is most recognized as the author of The Faerie Queene, yet many would argue that his shorter poems alone would rank him among the greatest English poets.  One of those shorter works, Epithalamion, epitomizes his skill and brilliance.

In the Epithalamion, Spenser constructs a tightly wrought love poem that elevates and transforms a single twenty-four hour day into an expose of the cyclical nature of life.… Read More


by Morgan O’Neill

Billy Collins was appointed Poet Laureate of the United States for 2001-2003.  He is the author of six collections of poetry.  Sailing Around the Room, published in 2001 by Random House is one of my favorites.  There is a breeziness and charm to Collins’ poetry; an unexpectedness that catches the reader by surprise and often makes him smile.  Perhaps, it is foolish to think that a lingerie catalogue could sweep a young boy (or not so young boy) away to places unexpected. … Read More


by Morgan O’Neill

I cannot explain what made me think of Robert Herrick as I stood there, in the middle of the Curve show last February looking at this beautiful, delicate diaphanous baby doll designed by Jane Woolrich, but I did.  It was exquisitely simple, though I knew that the intricacy in the detail and the quality of the workmanship was anything but simple.  The first lines of Herrick’s poem, Delight in Disorder, sprang to mind,

“A sweet disorder in the dress
Kindles in clothes wantonness: ~
A lawn about the shoulder thrown
Into a fine distraction;”

 I won’t go on, but trust me; it was as if Herrick was Jane’s art director. … Read More


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