Friday, February 11, 2011

Things in the Glass

This evening I was shelving books in our home library when I came across a volume of Bartlett's Quotations and upon flipping it open, saw this poem by Sarah Morgan Bryant Piatt (1836-1919):

My mother says I must not pass
Too near that glass;
She is afraid that I will see
A little witch that looks like me,
With a red mouth to whisper low
The very thing I should not know.
--The Witch in the Glass, 1888

Here's proof that looking glass legends have a long history in America! Or, Mrs. Piatt's husband served as American Consul to Ireland, so perhaps she picked up the story there.

The sum and total of my knowledge of Sarah Morgan Bryant Piatt


Emily J. said...

Spooky! What do you think the thing not to know is? Something about death or about women who wear red lipstick?

Enbrethiliel said...


This poem is used in a Paranormal Romance in which the heroine is a very powerful witch who can use mirrors to concentrate and magnify her powers, but who can also be trapped in them if she is not careful.

And then, of course, there is Through the Looking Glass, which might be more meaningful than the bit of intellectual fun we usually think it is, and the famous magic mirror in Snow White. What is it about women and mirrors? Especially since the character most famous for getting in trouble with his own reflection is male?

Oh, wait a minute . . . there was also Medusa. Hmmmmmm!