I finished reading – Jacob’s Room by Virginia Woolf

I finished reading Jacob’s Room’s last week.  Her writing is poetic. The more I read of Virginia – her writing and about her – the more in awe I am.  Since I am NOT Virginia Woolf and never will be, I will pay homage by using her words to write  a found poem. (Here’s a description and examples of found poems.

The red light was on the columns of the Parthenon (a found poem)
after the last page of chapter 13 “Jacob’s Room” by Virginia Woolf

The ships in the Piraeus fired their guns.
Tunnelling its way, fitful explosions
among the channels of the islands. Darkness

drops. “The guns?” said Betty Flanders,
half asleep, out of bed and going. The window,
decorated — a fringe of dark leaves. Distance, she thought.

The sea, again. Far away the dull sound. Nocturnal women
beating great carpets. Lost and dead. Her sons
fighting for their country.

But were the chickens safe?
Was that some one moving downstairs?
Rebecca with the toothache?

No. The nocturnal women were beating great carpets.
Her hens shifted slightly on their perches.


The words are from the second last chapter of the novel.  Woolf shows us the thoughts of Jacob’s mother. The last chapter is only one page long.

I keep thinking about Betty’s hens on their perches. It’s probably why I chose the passage I did.  So I went looking for a picture online (since I no longer live near chickens) of hens roosting and came across this wonderful work by a person on the Cornish coast.



  1. Thanks, Jan. Jacob’s Room has been sitting on my end table for about a year, and I’m so glad that I finally jumped in. It’s the first time I’ve read it. I’ve got a bit of a Virginia reading project underway 🙂

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