Zira: in Captivity
10 x 8.75 inches
LITERATURE: Laurence Hope, The Garden of Kama, Heinemann, 1914, ill.
The Garden of Kama, an anthology of poetry by Adela Florence Nicolson, was published under the pseudonym Laurence Hope, and illustrated by Byam Shaw. The poems, mostly about unrequited love, were passed off as translations of North West Indian and Persian Sufi poems by a male poet, on the assumption that they would be taken more seriously if people thought they were not by a woman. The ruse was so successful that many prominent poets, including Thomas Hardy, lavished praise on them. This picture illustrates the poem Zira: in Captivity:
You never seek me. All day long I lie
Watching the changes of the far-off sky
Behind the lattice-work of carven stone.
And all night long, alas! I lie alone.