Assignment 1/6, due September 15th:

Necklace of the Subaltern Betrayer

Here are the art objects we've received for this assignment. Thanks everyone!

She's a girl from another time, she blushes and rustles as she passes, taffeta skirt buoyed by crinolines. She has taught herself to fling her burnished curls with just a turn of her head; she and her sister practiced for hours in front of an oval mirror. At twenty, she is poised but not on the brink; she understands her value; her next great adventure awaits her. A mate. Travel. Domesticity - which involves a love of gardening, cleanliness and the proper care of servants.

As she rustles, and blushes, and tosses her curls, her scent insinuates itself in the air between you - Lilies of the Valley. Her eyes are the color of good sapphires, with royal-blue flecks at their core. Her hair is the color of bottled honey. Her neck is alabaster.

The frills and accessories that constitute the bureaucracy of her wardrobe make her power seem abstract.

The Necklace I want should fit perfectly around her neck, but remain there only long enough for me to steal it right off again.

-Daniel Libbe

Assignment #1: Create the Necklace of the Subaltern Betrayer. Ship it via UPS, FedEx, DHL, or another courier to:
Ghosts of a Chance
c/o Georgina Bath
tel: 202.633.8532
Suite 4200
Smithsonian American Art Museum
750 Ninth Street NW
Washington DC 20001
The Necklace is due at the museum by Monday, September 15th. Click here for full rules.


Discuss your work in progress:
The poem is simply wonderful. Youth, wondering, and finally galant conquer is beautifully expressed. Thank you so much. NB
why anonymous?
Can somebody please tell me what is going on? I don't understand this at all.
Can somebody tell me what's going on here? I'm completely lost.
Woops, no HTML! This:
Anyone else see this?
I know what to do.....
A Subaltern is a military officer of low rank; it's a term used more by the Brits than by Americans, and for them and means officers below the rank of captain--thus, the various grades of lieutenant. Here's a delightful poem by a talented Englishman, which has nothing to do with this game, since the museum is of American art, not English. . . still it's fun! Could this game involve a love story? Or a love story gone wrong? Civil War? The girl is wearing crinolines. . .

A Subaltern's Love Song

Miss J. Hunter Dunn, Miss J. Hunter Dunn,
Furnish'd and burnish'd by Aldershot sun,
What strenuous singles we played after tea,
We in the tournament - you against me!

Love-thirty, love-forty, oh! weakness of joy,
The speed of a swallow, the grace of a boy,
With carefullest carelessness, gaily you won,
I am weak from your loveliness, Joan Hunter Dunn.

Miss Joan Hunter Dunn, Miss Joan Hunter Dunn,
How mad I am, sad I am, glad that you won,
The warm-handled racket is back in its press,
But my shock-headed victor, she loves me no less.

Her father's euonymus shines as we walk,
And swing past the summer-house, buried in talk,
And cool the verandah that welcomes us in
To the six-o'clock news and a lime-juice and gin.

The scent of the conifers, sound of the bath,
The view from my bedroom of moss-dappled path,
As I struggle with double-end evening tie,
For we dance at the Golf Club, my victor and I.

On the floor of her bedroom lie blazer and shorts,
And the cream-coloured walls are be-trophied with sports,
And westering, questioning settles the sun,
On your low-leaded window, Miss Joan Hunter Dunn.

The Hillman is waiting, the light's in the hall,
The pictures of Egypt are bright on the wall,
My sweet, I am standing beside the oak stair
And there on the landing's the light on your hair.

By roads "not adopted", by woodlanded ways,
She drove to the club in the late summer haze,
Into nine-o'clock Camberley, heavy with bells
And mushroomy, pine-woody, evergreen smells.

Miss Joan Hunter Dunn, Miss Joan Hunter Dunn,
I can hear from the car park the dance has begun,
Oh! Surrey twilight! importunate band!
Oh! strongly adorable tennis-girl's hand!

Around us are Rovers and Austins afar,
Above us the intimate roof of the car,
And here on my right is the girl of my choice,
With the tilt of her nose and the chime of her voice.

And the scent of her wrap, and the words never said,
And the ominous, ominous dancing ahead.
We sat in the car park till twenty to one
And now I'm engaged to Miss Joan Hunter Dunn.

-- John Betjeman

Who and what is the subaltern betrayer?

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