The name Jenny has a great deal of significance in my family as there were, sadly all now gone, three (some Jean or Jennifer). And each one pretty formidable, in particular my ex mother in-law who was the spitting image of the looked after social worker in my city. This poem has personal significance to me and I always found it pretty heart wrenching as it seems to allude to the Victorian exploitation of young girls by old men. Something that is fairly relevant to this post modern age still unfortunately due to the trafficking of young women around the world that has surfaced recently.
How I got through it I really don't know, but I did a vow of silence for learning disabilities for a year a couple of years ago. I had wanted to do it for three or four years beforehand, after finding out about an Australian who did it for the animals. But the timing was never right. It was difficult but during the silence I learnt about John Francis, the environmentalist and author, who did it for seventeen years whilst walking barefoot across America playing the banjo. I had to make sure I drank enough fluids and had plenty of exercise so that my respiratory system didn't collapse, and learnt new things and read difficult books to keep my mind alert. It is very tough again during lockdown too, but immensely difficult for those with learning disabilities. I began writing my poetry last spring in the first Covid pandemic lockdown, and it poured out of me. But as you can tell from my readings my voice is still weak.
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