Notes from Philly

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Agnes Repplier (1855-1950)

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Miss Repplier on Clinton Street

Agnes is stern.

Change one vowel I could have been a lamb.

Jane would have fit. Irony should have been expected

given Mother’s brain. Eight decades writing with a martyr’s name.

Spindle tall, uncomely, though a spinster’s life has gain.

The books exceed a dozen now. The essays are my pride.

My niche is small but I made it myself. In Philadelphia where

there’s always been a problem telling geese from swans. Penn’s Greene

Towne holds claim: Boston publishes.

God bless The Atlantic Monthly. Who’ll remember my

reviews? Mrs. Wharton, Mr. Gosse long gone. In Edinburgh, Mr. Andrew

Lang enjoyed them. His letters said so. And so much more about himself

in that blue scrawl. He was rude but he did value discernment. Pass the

cigarettes, dear. Mind the cat.

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Written by Lesley Valdes

November 21, 2009 at 5:33 pm

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