Sunday, July 27, 2008

Quick Trip to West Virginia

I've not been writing much in this--what with my online class to write and then do people's "papers," which are digital, and working on the new collection of Appalachian Stories and preparing Love Palace to the agent's specifications, and soliciting for the West Virginia issue of the Hamilton Stone Review.All this on the hot third floor, and meanwhile, Joel came and went on his way to Israel, and my mother here to see him. I drove her to West Virginia yesterday, Saturday, and back today. I don't think I've ever done it in two days-- I've made the long drive from Kentucky one day and then from Shinnston back, but this was fast. I've been in Shinnston in March, in May, in June, and now July. I love being there: the seasons not so different from New Jersey, but the life very different.

Mom and I took a walk after arriving yesterday, which mostly consisted of me standing and smacking horseflies while she wandered through back yards of East Shinnston distributing dog cookies. We had nice visits with Sally Butler and Linda Zuspan Holler and others in cars, on porches. There were so many lovely flowers, people make their houses lovely with verbena and petunia pots and black eyed susans.

During the drives, I listened to a lot of Teaching Company lectures, this time an introduction to Poetry . I especially liked the lecture on free verse, which pointed out the King James Bible as source of 19th c. American Oratory and of the Bible and oratory as a source for Whitman’s long perorations which are the invention of free verse– use of Anaphora, which is repeated beginning word or sound or phrase at the beginning.

Today, more lectures, more heat, the drive a little longer, and I called Mom from the driveway, knowing she would be worried because it took me longer than yesterday. Lots of haze-- the mountains blue and gray , and you could see the storms gathering. I took my little five minute hikes at Sideling Hill in Maryland and two at rest stops on I-81 in Pennsylvania. Saw distant Amish carriages moving along at a good clip, from church I expect. Motor cycles, so many motorcycles! And in Pennsylvania, a lot of them without helmets.

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