I Wonder Why. 2014. Pigment inkjet prints and digital embroidery on linen. 55.5 x 54.5 in. (141 x 138.4 cm)



Sarah Bernhardt, Phédre

I wonder why
The actresses I have seen
Playing Phèdre

Always indulge
In such mature agonising.
She was young,
A girl caught in a trap, a girl
Under the enforcement
Of a goddess.
Ancient enemy
Of her family.

Now if I
Had been writing this story
I should have liked one member
Of that awful family
To be happy,
What with Ariadne auf Naxos,
And Pasiphaé and that awful animal,
And Minos sitting judging the Dead
In those awful dark halls.
Yes, I should like poor honourable
      simple sweet prim Phèdre
To be happy.

Stevie Smith, Phédre