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Owens, Elisabeth, R. (ed.) / Encore: more of parallel press poets
(2006)

Trudell, Dennis
The people,   p. 61


Page 61

 
The People 
      through metaphor to reconcile 
      the people and the stones 
      -W. C. Williams 
 Time and rain beat the stones. 
 Time and rain beat the stones 
 and the people there. The people 
 and the stones. Words and fish 
 moved with the people from year 
 to year, from childhood to death. 
 There by the sea. The people 
 and the words. Time and rain 
 beat them, and the words made 
 fish dance and stones children. 
 Waves moved with the poems 
 and stories from death to death, 
 from love to absence. The people 
 and the stones. And the music 
 of waves and sorrow and hope. 
 And the music inside the stones. 
 Dennis Trudell 
 Poet's Statement 
 I wouldn't have written "The People" if I hadn't gone to the west
of Ireland shortly 
 before. Nor if I hadn't admired William Carlos Williams' lines of the poem's
epigram 
 for some years. 
     The poem is about the resilience and grace, the wonder, of humans making
stories and poems and music, magic, from their lives and work, their loves
and 
losses-and from words. Making those things for one another and children and
for 
themselves and descendants. The poem is about doing that despite their, our,
awareness of being specks compared to seas and time... and inevitable death.
I 
went to Doolin, a village in County Clare at the edge of Europe, known for
tradi- 
tional Irish music in its pubs. Near vast cliffs and surrounded, little Doolin,
by boul- 
ders, rocks, and more stones than words I will write. 
     Lives have been hard there and on islands off that coast, yet those
who dwell 
there and visit make a music of talk and grins, stories and laughter, fiddles
and 
beer. And they do that sort of thing everywhere, my lovely fellow people:
and may 
they do it long after the stone hearts and greed-pit minds of those ruling
my coun- 
try and threatening our species and planet are mere echoes of shame. 
  61 


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