We can love a story without treating it as sacred text. One of Marilyn Robertson‘s favorites is Pride and Prejudice and, in fact, she was reminded of that novel while at the produce counter. (It can happen anytime and anyplace.) And so we have the poem “Pride and Bananas.”
Yesterday in the market, a man stood in front
of the bananas for the longest time,
brooding over one greenish bunch after another.
He looked like Mr. Darcy might have looked,
minus the ruffled shirt and top hat,
and I began to think about the real Darcy,
deftly slicing up a banana on his bowl
of cornflakes at Pemberley,
then gazing out one of its ninety-five windows
at the pleasantest prospect in England
and wondering what in the world
he was going to do all day —
while in the next county, Miss Elizabeth Bennet
strolled from one bright field to the next,
wondering what her chances were of running into someone
who had an extra banana
and happened to own a large estate as well.
Marilyn Robertson is a poet and song writer living in California. “Pride and Bananas” comes from a selection of her work entitled, simply, Poems.
You may be familiar with the opening line of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice — It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife. Though not every reader can enjoy the decorum or the nuanced manners and morals of Austen’s novels, those who do are often passionate about her work, its restrained but deep emotion and its ironies. Pride and Prejudice was first published in 1813 and readers have been delighting in the ups and downs of Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy ever since. The most recent movie version of Pride and Prejudice was released in 2005 with Keira Knightly as Elizabeth Bennett. Cinema provides a wonderful visual world, but for those who like to read, Jane Austen’s prose can be delicious.