Loving Don Quixote – Elaine Feinstein

Loving Don Quixote

Even now I love you, gentle Knight
          of the Rueful Countenance,
because I have always fallen most deeply
          in love with vulnerable men ---
 ---not losers exactly, but dream-led searchers,
       driven by a mad need to excel--- 
 boldly pursuing glory in second hand  clothes
or---  like my father, who left school at twelve---
      wearing his top hat in the  President’s box.
Yet they were nobler than the world they entered,
      their poor decisions readily forgiven
as we forgive children who  contrive
       to play for honour without calculation
simply to make sense of being alive.

Elaine Feinstein

About Elaine Feinstein

Elaine Feinstein is a poet, novelist, and biographer. She has received  many prizes, including a Cholmondeley Award for Poetry, Society of Authors', Wingate and Arts Council Awards, the Daisy Miller Prize for her experimental novel The Circle, (long-listed for the ‘lost’ Man Booker prize in 2010) and an Honorary D.Litt from the University of Leicester. Her versions of the poems of Marina Tsvetaeva, a New York Times Book of the Year, have remained in print since 1971. She has served on the Council of the Royal Society of Literature, of which she is a Fellow, as a judge for most of the current literary prizes, and  as Chair of the Judges for the T.S.Eliot Award.