Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Originally uploaded by jhhymas

Tonight an image of something that is (was) TRULY DIGESTIBLE, since I am about to launch on an essay really too long for this space. Here goes:

An Essay on Juxtaposition

This morning I woke early and there was enough light coming through the window to read, so that is what I did. While S and the dogs slept soundly, I picked up the Pushcart Prize XXX anthology I started reading just before we left here last year. I began at the book mark. I had decided to read straight through this ponderous volume, so I would know where I was—with literary magazines, I often skip around, usually reading the essays first, then the poetry, and then the fiction--(if I have time before something else crowds out that particular periodical.) Pat Shelley used to mark the table of contents in her literary journals, she had a system of checks to indicate the pieces she thought were especially fine. I am often reminded of her and her ways, even though she has been dead now for ten years.

The poem I read first is by Ted Kooser.
I don't think he will mind if I tell you the whole poem:


In a light, cold rain, at the edge of the woods,
a line of brides is waiting, hand in hand.
Their perfume carries far across the fields.
They have been brought here from the east
to marry farmers, and were left on the platform.
The dark old depot of the woods is locked
and no one has come for them but me.

Well, this was a pleasant start! Then came an 8-page story “Ackerman in Eden” by Donald Hays. It dealt with reality and fantasy in the life of a man who escapes from a mental hospital. I was not familiar with the author, but I very much liked the way he used so many ancient place names to convey the mental state of Ackerman. It gave the story a richness and resonance.

Alas, this tale of mine will go on much longer. This is only the beginning of this stream of thought, so you will understand the more interesting part. More tomorrow, unless I goof up again.

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