Stevie Smith (1902-1971)

Sunday at Home

I was an avid radar of Stevie Smith’s poetry for a short while as a young adult, having sourced a thick volume from the local library.  Lodged within the filing cabinet of my mind are snippets of information – she  wore her hair in a shortish bob, she attempted suicide, she wrote poems about death and that they felt terribly modern.  I returned the library book eventually and have dipped in and out of her poems over the years.  I had never read any of her short stories until now.

The Secret Self /2 Short Stories by Women collection is clearly a good source and I don’t recall having read Sunday at Home previously, although I may well have done so.

It’s a slightly strange story, and I finished it with mixed emotions.  As with her poetry there is a preoccupation with death, but mostly the story seems to be a portrait of a marriage between two floundering and damaged people.

There are some original recordings of Stevie Smith reading her poetry on You Tube and a clip from the film Stevie (1978) with Glenda Jackson.


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