Authors are not like the rest of us

Essie Summers, in her autobiography, relates what the Matron (note to Americans: this is the head nurse in a British hospital) said to Summers’s husband Bill after the birth of their daughter Elizabeth:

“What an odd couple you are. Quarter of an hour before the baby was born, your wife asked for pencil and paper. I told her there was no need to make her last will and testament, I wasn’t going to let a neighbour slip through my fingers, but she said she’d just thought of the last line of a poem she’s been having trouble with.” She shook her head. “I’ve heard some quaint things said in the course of labour, but I’ve never had a poem composed during it, before.” — The Essie Summers Story, p. 43.


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