I confess to having struggled with this theme. It is not that it is hard to find surprises in literature but there is so much. In the end I have returned to the endlessly inventive and original Emily Dickinson.

Some might argue that this is the opposite of surprise “apparently with no surprise…” but I think Dickinson is implying that the flower, scythed down by an unexpected Autumnal frost, ought to be surprised even if it isn’t. That is, that the sudden frost and its effect is surprising to her, if not to the flower.

Apparently with no SurpriseEmily Dickinson

Apparently with no surprise,
To any happy flower,
The frost beheads it at its play,
In accidental power.
The blond assassin passes on.
The sun proceeds unmoved,
To measure off another day,
For an approving God.

2 thoughts on “Surprise

  1. Surprise

    Something happened to me recently
    Looking for documents for my sister
    I finally took out the old brown Gladstone case
    Out of the depths of the fitted cupboard
    Opening the case and rummaging through the papers
    A small green diary fell out
    It was for 1968 when I was studying for my Diploma of Education
    It proceeded to open flat on the floor on a page
    And there it was George and a phone number

    I keep all my diaries in a large plastic box
    But not this one obviously
    So what do I do with this? I thought
    I had been living on my own
    Having been widowed seven months earlier

    Eventually I investigated
    Tried the phone and Facebook but no joy
    Days passed advice taken
    I decided to Google it
    I looked up from the screen, he existed
    Dare I? I thought what the heck!

    I sent him a message
    Are you the George that was on a Dip Ed course in Bath in 1968
    Yes Urszula it is I George
    There is a Polish restaurant in Penzance
    It was big surprise
    To find him after over 50 years

    Since then we have been messaging each other
    A Polish restaurant has been mentioned
    So we may meet one day
    Outside the Tate Modern
    At the Baltic Restaurant in Southwark

    We both studied teaching physics
    We were all in the same group
    Now George is retired he has devoted himself
    To writing book reviews
    Learning German French all highbrow stuff
    He recommends books and poets for me

    All because my sister wants to register
    For a Polish passport after Brexit

    Or was it?



    By Mairi Cable.

    Last week Hilary gave me a surprise. She had bought me a suitcase from Bethesda charity shop as a present. There was a reason for her buying me this present. When we went to Strathpeffer with the Befrienders’ I bought a suitcase but it wasn’t the one Hilary meant me to buy which had wheels on it, mine didn’t and it turned out to be quite heavy but Angus carried it for me on the journey.
    I took the case with me on the journey to Perth to see Sarah and because I took too much clothes it was heavy again. I carried it to the house, but Sarah carried it to the bus station on the way home.
    So, this new case has wheels on it so it is a travellator. If I go back to Perth, I can use it.


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