Emily Bludworth de Barrios


“These scruples concurred to make the separation from her husband appear less dreadful”

Splendor, like a head with lines coming out.

To desire one very radiant thing.

I would like one thing to become clear,
then another.

Praise on you
who have your clear values to live for.

“May the saints guard thee”

Your failure
feels treacherous inside you.

Treachery is when it turns out
that you were wrong about it all.

You lay smarting
in the bunk of your mind.

While the world lays disassembled
like a grievous injury
from which
you will never really recover.

There are effortless persons,
and you are not one of them.

Hush, hush.
Things will not be the same.

“He sighed, and retired, but with eyes fixed on the gate.”

It is possible
that one has extraordinary power
which one does not in actuality use.

So one believes.

Ambition loops in you
(lazy-headed, deep-spirited river).

You only wish to honor
your extraordinary power, what that might entail.

To work continually
is required.

In a best kind of self
is like how one may arrive.
The titles of these poems come from The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole. It was published in 1764.
EMILY BLUDWORTH DE BARRIOS is currently studying Creative Writing at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Her work has recently appeared in (or is forthcoming in) Philadelphia Stories, The Found Poetry Review, Emrys Journal, and Belletrist Coterie.

Read more by Emily Bludworth de Barrios:

Poem in Belletrist Coterie (p. 94)