I’m working on patience, while D reads and adds some edits to this nearly-nearly finished draft of Dear Friends and Gentle Hearts. To help me, I’ve struck on hunting for an epigraph (and possibly a change in title, something which better reflects the energy of the novel).
It is hard, and I think I have one from Anne Carson, but along the way I found a poem by Brigit Pegeen Kelly, which in its entirety works as an epigraph, with its imagery of nature, death, motherhood and childhood. Though no one has read the novel in its entirety, here is a little of the poem, which is a terrible beauty:
The doe lay dead on her back in a field of asters: no.
The doe lay dead on her back beside the school bus: yes.
Where we waited.
Her belly white as a cut pear. Where we waited: no: off
from where we waited: yes
at a distance: making a distance
as we kept her dead run in sight, that we might see if she chose to go skyward;
that we might run, too, turn tail
if she came near
and troubled our fear with presence: with ghostly blossoming: with the fountain’s
and the black stain the algae makes when the water
The doe lay dead: she lent
her deadness to the morning, that the morning might have weight, that
our waiting might matter: be upheld by significance: by light
on the rhododendron, by the ribbons the sucked mint
loosed on the air,
by the treasonous gold-leafed passage of season, and you
from me/child/from me
from…not mother: no:
but the weather that would hold you: yes:
hothoused you to fattest blooms: keep you in mild unceasing rain, and
stations of heat: like a pedaled note: or the held
breath sucked in, and stay: yes: