Even someone who cares as little about cars as I do couldn’t walk past the Rolls Royce parked in town the other day without stopping to look closer. It wasn’t the car that interested me, though: it was the emblem – or, as Wikipedia would have it, the bonnet ornament.
I don’t think I’d ever really thought about what the figure represented; I’d just assumed it was a winged victory. But now I come to do some research, I find it’s actually the Spirit of Ecstasy.
There are lots of interesting facts and anecdotes I could explore from the article linked above, but my close encounter with the Silver Lady already had me thinking of my own trivia.
I’ll admit the first thought is to wonder how she manages to lean forward so far and yet remain so decent. I am sure that most real women of her proportions would be demurely holding one hand to their neckline to limit the view of their cleavage.
Still on the subject of dress, I am reminded of Isadora Duncan and have to hope that the fluttering robes of Emily – as it seems the Rolls Royce emblem figure is called – don’t get tangled any further once the car starts to speed up.
One final thought is that each time I’ve written ecstasy in this post, I’ve had to check that I’ve spelled it correctly. I hadn’t realised that it’s one of my bugbear words, but I don’t suppose I’ve written it very often before. In fact, a quick scan of the computer produces only one document of mine with the word in it – a selection of poetry fragments grouped under the somewhat ambiguous title Erotic Shorts – which conjures the idea of an entirely different type of garment from the one we’ve just been thinking about!
Here, then, is a tangentially relevant short poem:
When he speaks
his fingers bring her
to the edge of ecstasy;
she watches promises
roll from his tongue
while his lips reveal
to her skin.
And in case it needs clarifying that I really was only writing about the way some people use their hands when they speak, here’s a second poem from the same file:
It’s there in the air between them.
As hands sketch fragmented curves,
fingertips graze its surface.
They worry it with words,
map points along the borders.
Their tongues taste the edges
of possibility until they find its shape
in the space where their lips meet.