Self-Portrait with Cigarette: Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, c. 1913
Why does the thin grey strand
Floating up from the forgotten
Cigarette between my fingers,
Why does it trouble me?
Ah, you will understand;
When I carried my mother downstairs,
A few times only, at the beginning
Of her soft-foot malady,
I should find, for a reprimand
To my gaiety, a few long grey hairs
On the breast of my coat; and one by one
I let them float up the dark chimney.
D. H. Lawrence: passport photo, n.d (Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University)
D. H. Lawrence birthplace, Eastwood, Nottinghamshire: photo by John G. Hill, 14 September 2007
D. H. Lawrence (11 September 1885-2 March 1930): Sorrow, from Amores, 1916
"He sat in the kitchen, smoking. Then he tried to brush some grey ash off his coat. He looked again. It was one of his mother's grey hairs. It was so long! He held it up, and it drifted into the chimney. He let go. The long grey hair floated and was gone in the blackness of the chimney."
-- Lawrence, from Sons and Lovers, begun 1910-1911, published 1913