Julia Origo poetry: Witness


Julia Origo


W i t n e s s


s t a g e   o n e

I have seen many eagles

in recent years

so different

like a date without desteny


s t a g e  t w o

and when you give up

-perhaps that’s the deal-

like all that died before

you get old

at any age


s t a g e  t h r e e

then this misunderstanding

full of promise of modern fable

of a missing link

between age and mind

between losing home

and losing time

between you

and him


(London 1985)


 museum of lost concepts

Julia Origo poetry: Suicide




in a flash


by misfortune and eager,

all the worst losses and woes of life,

examine her regrets,


just an attempt at genuine connection

(winters and summers)

at times, struggling to hear,

she leans forward,

face creasing with concentration,

eyes searching.


How Did It Come To This?


Julia Origo

(1965-2005 – From: Escape, 1991)


museum of lost concepts

Julia Origo poetry: Bad girl


Bad girl


Pity those poor Italian men,

out of reach,

(oh, celibacy in despair!)

but they never look sorry


I was invisible to the man on the street

I told him that I was really excited

(born one second after midnight

on New Year’s Day)

a self-absorbed, thumb-sucking bad girl,

beware your wildest dreams…


Rain fell like nails upon us,

I seduce his father who flirts with his seatmate

on a long plane flight.

I had always wanted a real man

(always the same face)

as I knew better than to offer him to pay

for he can watch his family from

beyond the grave

(sad news of the death, oh yes,

the theft of childhood and

the dangers to the young, oh yes)


delve deeper into Celebrating Possibility

and an engaging sense






It made no difference.


Julia Origo

Verona 1965 – London 2005

(From: Bad girl, 1985)

museum of lost concepts

Julia Origo: Portrait of E.

J u l i a   O r i g o

Portrait of E.

The short and desperate life of E.

(the girl nobody noticed on November 4th 1990)

rubbing shoulders, smiling dreamily,

with a thought bubble above her head saying:

“I said I would NOT tear up”.


E. tied a ligature around her neck,

strangled herself in a similar fashion

as many times before.

Although on suicide watch,

in the short time she was unobserved

she did ENOUGH to starve herself of oxygen,

trigger brain damage.


In a vegetative state,

transferred to hospital,

she would not recover

A nightmare of guilt to follow.

A decision to switch her off

life support was made seven days later.



justifies the means.


(Suicide is the act of deliberately killing oneself. Risk factors for suicide include mental disorder, such as depression, personality disorder, alcohol dependence, or schizophrenia, and some physical illnesses, such as neurological disorders, cancer, and HIV infection. There are effective strategies and interventions for the prevention of suicide.)

(From: Escape, 1991)

m u s e u m   o f   l o s t   c o n c e p t s