Author
Date
1917-1935
Distributor
Identification Number
3.1
Document Type
Genre
Exhibit
Work

John and I

First we had a single room,
John and I.
Fifteen other roomers there:
Dingy halls and meagre fare,
Strife and gossip everywhere,
But within our single room,
John and I, a bride and groom,
Felt that life was fair.
Then we had a Harlem flat,
John and I,
Odorous rooms, a stifling air,
Noise and dirt seemed everywhere,
But friendly faces too were there,
And youth and love and fun to spare,
And so within our Harlem flat,
John and I would play and chat,
With not a single care.
Next a swell apartment home,
John and I,
Far from restless city’s roar,
Elevator, boy at door,
Shining oak and polished floor,
Dresses, parties, friends galore,
Women by the day to chore,
And within our home so smart,
John and I—somewhat apart,
Hungered yet for more.
So a duplex studio,
John and I,
Rugs and pictures, music, books,
Hangings rare oer shady nooks,
Seances with frauds and spooks,
Japs instead of Irish cooks,
At our door a car de luxe
And within that studio,
John and I, good friends you know,
Lived for coin and looks.
Then we took a ten roomed suite,
John and I,
In a vast and grand hotel,
Where the very rich do dwell
All went slick and smooth and swell,
In the lap of luxury we fell,
A gilded life, so sleek and well,
Till John met her. I dare not tell—
I dare not think of what befell.
And within that 10 roomed suite,
John and I did rarely meet,
Life, to me, was hell.
Last, a mansion, bleak and fair,
John and I!
Built of marble, stone and rock,
Occupying half a block,
Iron grill, electric lock,
Fronting the great River Drive,
From my room I watched the hive,
Of common folk go drifting by,
In splendid isolation I,
Implored of God the reason why,
That happiness had passed me by,
And within our mansion fair,
I alone—John never there,
Prayed that I might die.

People Mentioned

Mary Chapman

Mary Chapman is the Director of The Winnifred Eaton Archive, a Professor of English, and Academic Director of the Public Humanities Hub at University of British Columbia. She is the author of the award-winning monograph Making Noise, Making News: Suffrage Print Culture and US Modernism (Oxford UP) and of numerous articles about American literature and women writers. She has also edited Becoming Sui Sin Far: Early Fiction, Journalism and Travel Writing by Edith Maude Eaton (McGill-Queen’s UP) and published essays on the Eaton sisters in American Quarterly, MELUS, Legacy, Canadian Literature, and American Periodicals. Her current research project is a microhistory of the Eaton family. For more information, see http://faculty.arts.ubc.ca/mchapman/.

Ken Ip

Ken Ip is a graduate of the M.A. program in English at the University of British Columbia and was a research assistant for The Winnifred Eaton Archive. During this time, his research interests were focused towards digital humanities and Indigenous literatures. During his time with the project, he contributed mainly as a transcriber and encoder for several of Eaton’s works. He is currently working with the International Society of Cell and Gene Therapy as Coordinator, Training and Education.

Winnifred Eaton

  • Born: August 21, 1875
  • Died: April 08, 1954
See the Biographical Timeline for biographical information on Winnifred Eaton.

Pseudonym used in this text

Joey Takeda

Joey Takeda is the Technical Director of The Winnifred Eaton Archive and the User Interface Developer at the Digital Humanities Innovation Lab (Simon Fraser University). He is also an M.A. student in English at the University of British Columbia where his research focuses on Indigenous and diasporic Canadian literature; he is currently completing a digital edition of His Royal Nibs.

Organizations Mentioned

Winnifred Eaton Reeve Fonds

Collection of Winnifred Eaton’s papers and unpublished manuscripts, which were transferred to the University of Calgary in 1982. The finding aid for this material is located here: https://searcharchives.ucalgary.ca/winnifred-eaton-reeve-fonds

Published