The Fashion of La Folie

By SUSAN KINSOLVING

 

1754

She insisted that a gazebo, grotto, and gate be added
to the Estate. Two obelisks were next. And soon, a sham
castle was built on adjoining land. Then she planned
a Greek temple for a statuesque Aphrodite and six
water-spouting nymphs. Plus, a pagoda! Her follies
were, as Lord Clark said, monuments to mood. But
she had so many! Her fortune fed her fantasies until
one stormy day, she was caught in a downpour. Under
the rubble-stone roof of her hidden hermitage for hours,
she waited, her peasant costume sopping, her doeskin
slippers soaked. The cracking sound was not thunder.
Mossy timbers crashed on her kerchiefed head. Found
dead, she was soon entombed in a mausoleum. In time,
vandals destroyed the weeping angels, Corinthian capitals,
and garlanded urns. Her resting place was a ruin, a final folly.

Susan Kinsolving has published the poetry collections The White Eyelash, Dailies & Rushes, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, Among Flowers,and the forthcoming My Glass Eye. As a librettist, she has had works performed with the Marin Symphony, Santa Rosa Symphony, Glimmerglass Opera, and The Baroque Choral Guild in New York, The Netherlands, Italy, and California.

[Purchase your copy of Issue 02 here.]

The Fashion of La Folie

Related Posts

Image of almonds pouring from a glass bowl.

Reina María Rodríguez: Poems in Translation

REINA MARÍA RODRÍGUEZ
Naturally, Flaubert’s parrot / could not be called Chucho, / his author wouldn’t stick him / with a name like that. / From which follows the importance of names. / But in the stories last night / —the reconstruction of a postcard / which we were creating...

Image of hill, river, and houses.

Joss

PATRICIA LIU
Paper is thin. In the beginning, still billows in the wind, still petal-like, still grounded in this world / of living. The incense is the only material that translates the viscera to mist. Early, the fog has not yet / lifted, and we move through the white drip as if through total darkness. Fish lost in the deep under- / water.

poetry feature image

March 2021 Poetry Feature: Sylvie Durbec

SYLVIE DURBEC
I still don’t know how to type a tilde on a computer keyboard / when writing the name of a Spanish or Portuguese writer I love. / Nor do I know what poetry is. / I don’t know whether we need it. Or not. / And what we really need here. / Elsewhere, water, bread, milk.