Maidenly (Solveig’s Song, Peer Gynt) (Sulur is the mountain above Akureyri in Northern Iceland where my mother grew up. The word means “shawled woman”, in Icelandic.) The Akureyri girls are out on Sulur. The midnight sunset’s pallor whites each 1940’s pinafore in which they gather the ripe blueberries. And Mum, so maidenly, here you’re othered, your English years to me ungathered, and do you wonder what you’re for? Preposterous Captain G. has come. Your loveliness knocks him sideways from his English puddings, Baptist regimen that under-light this Oxford gentleman, who fresh from Blitzkrieg France, now mauls Icelandic…
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