Swans In Half-mourning
Vi Khi Nao
Like Jenny Boully’s not merely because of the unknown that was stalking toward them,
but not like Jenny Boully at all, sort of similar but different, this is a take on The Six Swans
by Hans Christian Anderson. Fortunately, for those of us who think Anderson is a big sissy,
Swans In Half-mourning only takes the Anderson story as a starting point and lives an
entirely separate life.
Some writing is poetry and some writing is prose. Vi Khi Nao balances between the two. I
don’t like the term prose poem, so I'll just say she balances very well, like Margot Fonteyn
in Swan Lake.
One of my favourite passages is:
‘Early in their courtship, Veronica would walk Cynthia along the lane, hand in hand,
watching the Swans’ beaks drink in the beacon of water laminated by the falling light.
Cynthia’s hair would fall over her shoulder like six mute pieces of tupperware falling off the
edge of a table.’
The image of Cynthia’s hair, falling, reminds me of the flock of goats flowing down the
hillside in the Song of Songs.
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Swans In Half-mourning is also available in French as Cygnes En Demi-Deuil