Friday, October 24, 2014

A Woman Alone with Her Soul


A woman
is sitting alone
in a house.

She knows she is alone
in the whole world:
every other living thing
is dead.

The doorbell
rings.


— Thomas Bailey Aldrich



Thomas Bailey Aldrich (1836–1907) was the author of seven volumes of poetry and four collected editions. The poem, A Woman Alone with Her Soul, began life as a short story...some would say the shortest short story. It was first published posthumously in Aldrich's, Works, Vol. 9 in 1912.

It was included in the Spanish fantasy anthology Antología de la Literatura Fantástica in 1940. Edited by Jorge Luis Borges among others, the Argentine publication includes more than 80 short stories, fragments, excerpts, and poems. The anthology was first translated into English as The Book of Fantasy in 1971 where Aldrich's A Woman Alone with Her Soul came back to life!