I have been deciding on a daily basis to skip blogging. Instead I have been reading and listening to podcasts and talking to Eileen.
I have managed to finish a few books. In reverse order, I finished Seraph in the Suwanee by Zora Neal Thurston, Markings on the Earth by Karenne Wood, and Obit by Victoria Change.
The Thurston left me puzzled. I was confused at the beginning because the protagonists are white and it was the first of the several of Thurston’s works I had read that had white main characters. I thought this did not bode well as I started it.
Try as I might I could not see where Thurston was going. Most of the black people were people you could understand and might not mind knowing. The whites were more fully developed as characters and one could not always explain them to oneself. By the end I was confused. I don’t think that Seraph in the Suwanee is more a book about race than any other American book. I’m still pondering it.
Karenne Wood’s Markings on Earth was before that. Her poem Spider Dance hit me. The idea of male Spiders dying after mating keeps popping up on my radar lately.
and this one
by Karenne Wood
At this hour, who could discern where land ends
or water, where creek becomes bay, bay becomes
river and stretches across to a blue verge
of Maryland, all the way black now, invisible.
Through July’s haze, the first light is a brushstroke
of gray seeping in. Ducks totter up the beach,
short bowlegged sailors. Over the water, duck blinds
loom as improbable creatures who graze a pale field.
From the marina around the bend, two crabbers set out.
Their diesel chugs reverberate as prows cut new waves.
Mockingbirds swoop, flash their shoulders like women
advertising summer dresses. Herons cast themselves down.
What matters? At the end, we become what we have
loved, each thing that transfixed us in the rapture
of its moment, its grace of its own making, ours the same.
We grow around the land as it grew around us, and
dawn crosses over us, whether asleep in nests or
berths or in the ground becoming life again. Here is
the moment: here, among herons, ospreys, morning,
river. I believe in this light: it is the light of the world.
From Markings on Earth
, University of Arizona Press.
© 2001 Karenne Wood
Rhonda gave me this book for Christmas. I’m just finishing it. I was very tickled when there was a poem by Chang in the April 11 issue. I clipped it and stuck it in my copy of this book. She is quite good. Thanks, Rhonda!