Friday, September 05, 2014

Death - A Common Literary Tool

Is there another American poet who captures the 'emotional' moment better than Frost?  Perhaps, but Frost, for most of his career not appreciated by Americans, is one of the best. Stopping By Woods
forever catches me unaware. Is suicide on most of our minds more often than we admit? Is it on mine just now as I am recalling my favorite of Frost's many poems? No.  But winter will soon be upon us and I live in the northern tier of American states where frigid winter winds have a habit of overwhelming the most determined life force.

In Sierra Sunrise: A Travel Adventure, Demi is constantly faced with a decision about whether to go on, whether to push forward, whether it might be easier to take a nap in the snow rather than trudge through the drifts of life.

Demi reminds me of the old woman in  the Sherwood Anderson short story, Death in the Woods.

An excerpt: “The old woman was nothing special,” the narrator remembers. “She was one of the nameless ones that hardly anyone knows, but she got into my thoughts.” In her youth, the woman had been a bound girl, practically a slave to a harsh German farmer and his wife. Her job was to feed the stock and to cook for the couple. Her life with them was very unhappy. “She was a young thing then and scared to death,” the narrator says. In addition to the demands of her work, she was sometimes the victim of the farmer’s sexual advances. One day he had chased her into the barn and torn away the front of her dress before he was stopped by the sound of his wife’s returning. In such a situation, the girl looked desperately for any means of escape. Thus, when Jake Grimes, the wastrel son of a failed sawmill owner, offered to marry her, she accepted."

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