Health Update

Ursula K. Le Guin, photo by Marian Wood KolischDear Readers:

I’m sorry about not keeping up my blog posts, but everything got interrupted for me this summer when my congenital heart murmur (leaky valve) finally began to exact its toll. I spent a few days in hospital, have been home now for three weeks. Doing fine but not doing very much — and that looks to be the way it will be for a while.

Pard is a great help in not getting anything done except lying around more or less ornamentally. I am learning this art from a true master.

So I won’t try to keep blogging, though I miss it, and hope maybe I can post something now and then. Even if it’s just silly poems. Like these.


I tried to write a distich
but it turned antagonistic
and tried to rhyme with biscuit
and I don’t know how to fix it.

So I try to write a tercet
such a pretty little verset
but no matter how I nurse it
it’s another quatrain, curse it!

Simile’s Story

As I was walking by the sea
I met a Phor that said to me,
“O will you be my Simile?”

I said: “Although it pains me sore,
And probably will pain you more,
I’m not, and do not, like you, Phor.”

So I went on by the sea-side
And met a Morphosis, who cried,
“O Simile, come be my bride!”

I sighed: “Whatever change you bring,
I’ll wear your transubstantial ring,
For I love you like anything!”

So, in alternate woe and bliss,
Sometimes like that, sometimes like this,
I live as Mrs. Morphosis.

Pard’s Apparel

He wears a striking suit of black:
Long sleeves in front – short pants in back.
White is his tie, and white his shirt,
Immaculate of stain or dirt.
On his white stockings, from the rear,
Two ornamental spots appear,
Serving to lessen the albedo
Of his unusual tuxedo.

My Spots

On his white stockings, from the rear,
Two ornamental spots appear,



Health Update — 72 Comments

  1. I am so glad to hear you are feeling better. Best wishes for a continued recovery and even happier days ahead. You are in my thoughts.

  2. I want to thank you for your body of work. At different times in my life your books have given me comfort in many different ways. I saw you at a book reading in Cannon Beach where you mentioned that you did tai chi in the morning. I have carried that picture in my mind and it always makes me smile. Isn’t it funny that our most innocuous comments can have an enormous impact on strangers?

  3. Dear Mrs Le Guin,
    Hope you feel better soon, though the way of life of a sloth is not that bad. I love all your work and your silly poems above as well as all the Pard’s stories. Thank you for sharing it all with us.
    Best wishes.

  4. Best wishes to you, Ms. Le Guin, I find myself reading nothing but your work now (save a little Neil Gaiman once in a while), because I just need to feel what is possible for us as human beings, and to be reminded again and again that what we see in the world doesn’t have to be that way. Your work uplifts me and gives me energy to work for better things.
    With deep respect and warm wishes,

  5. Dear Mrs LeGuin,
    What a great pleasure to be able to read your blog. Your books have been with since my childhood, starting with Ged. Am now nearing 50 and recently reread Earthsea. What a gift; all of your books that I’ve read have always given me new ways of thinking. Thank you for that.
    Nusuth is a word I regularly use and my daughter of 11 picks up the meaning effortlessly.
    I wish you a steady recovery.

    (Zutphen, The Netherlands)

  6. Dear Ursula,
    So happy that you feel better now.My mom fell off from the ladder yesterday and had to lie on bed for 3 weeks.She used the same word ‘sloth’,so I confess that when I see the word ‘sloth’ I laugh…Besides,really happy to find your works(favourite so far:paradise lost)and so many readers who are the same as me.Though I’m a Chinese girl,you still offer me a new vision of my own culture.Thank you very much.And best wishes!?????????????????????????????……

  7. Dear Ursula,
    I am so glad you are recovering. Ornamental lying around seems a good prescription and I am waiting for the news that you can do more. I do hope you are getting better with each slothful day.
    With best regards and warmest wishes,

  8. That is excellent news! Winter is a good time for putting the feet up and remaining under the covers. Perhaps self-medicating with wine and chocolate?!

    You will then feel fantastic when it starts to get warm again next year. I live in hope that you will deliver some readings in Ireland sometime. You wouldn’t fancy it at the moment; incessant rain and mist. Yuck!
    Take care of yourself. I read Lavinia a few years ago and can tell that you have still have some classics to deliver! Lots of love,

  9. Dear Ms. LeGuin,
    If you have any guidance or comfort to give in the wake of last night it would be great to hear it.
    Very best wishes and deep respect,
    Lynn Kaye

  10. I’m so glad to hear that your health is improving, and that the Way of the Sloth (perhaps the Very Fierce Sloth, today) is agreeing with you.

    I, too, visited here today in case you’d have words of comfort or guidance, but of course you have hundreds of thousands of good encouraging words in your books and poems. More today than ever, I notice how often you write stories in which strong kind people struggle against sometimes very terrible governments indeed, and in which often their struggles do bring about the beginnings of change. I’d have loved to spend time with you today.

    Warm and fierce thoughts,

  11. Your books are a deep guiding force at this time. I have just reread The Tombs of Atuan and have found within its pages urgently needed clarity about how to navigate the current darkness in this country. Thank you for the beauty and power you have brought to this earth. Your guidance is far reaching and timeless. You are dearly loved.

  12. Dear Ms. Le Guin,

    Warmest wishes for good health.

    Thank you so much for your beautiful books. I read A Wizard of Earthsea when I was seventeen: and as many of your books as Interlibrary Loan could reach, in the years after. Now my husband and I have all your work on our combined bookshelves, and we look forward to reading Catwings to our small one. I have no words to say how much your books have meant to me — the courage they’ve given me in hard times, the lift of spirits, the needful widenings of the mind and imagination.

    Thanks to you, I have seen dragons on the wind of morning.

    Thank you and thank you, and warmest wishes.

  13. Dear Ms. Le Guin,

    Now, more than ever, I turn to your writing for clarity and expanded vision. Thank you for your work.

    My best to you, and Pard.

  14. Dear Ursula,
    I learned about your health challenge just now, and read your post-election blog. I hope you are continuing to take wonderful care of yourself, assisted exquisitely by Pard. Our cat is my best teacher for just being, too!

    I’ve been re-reading “Malafrena” this week, for inspiration. Thank you for all the courage your writings have inspired over the years, and I hope you will stick around to help inspire us for many years to come!