I'm nearing the end of a hefty project phase, so of course I've put the gratifying completion on hold and invested hours of this day in discovering the work of Grace Paley. I've looked at photographs, read poems, interviews, book reviews, and various biographical pieces. Her short stories will be next.
I've touched on this author's work several times, added her books of poems and stories to my to-read list, and then finally checked out her book Fidelity from the library.
I liked Proverbs, the very first poem in the book, immediately, and a specific line and a half has stuck with me.
a person should be in love most of
Yes, if possible. Definitely. And the stanza preceding my favorite line and a half, to me implying what it is to love another, made me grin.
a person should be understood though
he has brought both of his brows together
in anger and also suddenly begun to laugh
I found her poem The Poet's Occasional Alternative online. It begins as follows.
I was going to write a poem
I made a pie instead it took
about the same amount of time
of course the pie was a final
draft a poem would have had some
distance to go days and weeks and
much crumpled paper
And then a visit to the Paris Review.
How do stories begin for you?
A lot of them begin with a sentence—they all begin with language. It sounds dopey to say that, but it’s true. Very often one sentence is absolutely resonant. A story can begin with someone speaking. “I was popular in certain circles,” for example; an aunt of mine said that, and it hung around in my head for a long time. Eventually I wrote a story, “Goodbye and Good Luck,” that began with that line, though it had nothing to do with my aunt.
Yes yes. This reminds me of those circles Rachael mentioned in response to my last post. She was smart to make note of them. My unfolding was briskly followed by my circles. They were not about to be cast aside. And this suits me just fine. I need them.