In Jane Austen’s House: by John Looker

This was her writing table, this her chair
(‘Please Do Not Sit’): two bijou items placed
here by the window where the light fell square
on her page from the horse-drawn world she faced.
In a cramped corner the public (that’s me
and you) peer through glass at her neat handwriting;
or we squeeze into the bedroom which she
and her sister shared – until she was dying.
We visitors are whispering, withdrawing
from each other. We feel too tall, too loud,
navigating all this china, imploring
children to be careful. We’re quite a crowd.
……We open a door (she would have opened it too,
……her skirts brushing the frame) and we pass through.


John Looker’s poetry collection, The Human Hive, was selected by the Poetry Library for the UK’s national collection. His poems have appeared in print and in online journals and will be included in three anthologies for publication in 2017. A selection of John’s poetry can also be found HERE.

By bonniemcclellan

Mother, poet, american ex-pat from Texas living in Northern Italy.


  1. Such a good poem, John. You’ve perfectly captured that sense of awe we feel visiting homes such as this, where once the great lived and worked, genius somehow still aquiver in the very air, their living presence seemingly just a heartbeat away, the sheer actuality of their long-ago world as we pause and wonder…

    Yes, I like your sonnet very much.


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