MISS CHARLOTTE* Miss Charlotte, from motives of pure affection, feared to be loved: tied a little bonnet-string, with uncontrollable sorrow, over the thin, spare form of her man: found a casket of diamonds preserved from the wreck, impossible to see without tears, and suffered the solitude of widowhood at the church door, shaded by a cap.________________________
* This poem was first published in the March 1951 issue of WORLD REVIEW: ‘...the first I ever succeeded in publishing, although I had then been writing verse on and off of thirty years.’ (GOGMAGOG 155). It is interesting to note its Victorian death theme, which relates to ‘The Funeral’, a short story set in the Victorian era, and published in WORLD REVIEW as well. ‘Miss Charlotte’, tho a published poem, was not included in THE WHIRLIGIG in 1954. Cox, however, did not forget the poem, but used it later wrote the other poems in INTIMIDATIONS OF MORTALITY in the same vein, in 1966.
Of the entire sequence of INTIMIDATIONS as it appeared as a Gogmagog book in 1977, Morris Cox wrote to the South African collector, Corrie Guyt: ‘...the whole thing is rather light-hearted -- one with a more extended circulation that usual.’ (GOGMAGOG 90) Evidently the buyers of Gogmagog books did not agree; Alan Tucker, commenting on the desirability of Gogmagog titles, has written: ‘For the following fifteen years or so [after the publication of AN IMPRESSION OF WINTER IN 1965] Cox was under pressure to meet demand for new books, larger editions. Only INTIMIDATIONS OF MORTALITY (1977) daunted the market, a dark book about death. (GOGMAGOG 41) If we take Cox’s mentality, then perhaps these ‘Poems on Victorian Themes with Psychological Implications’ should be read in the same spirit as Edward Gorey’s morbidly ironic period humour. - BH/03