Thursday, January 26, 2012

My Old True Love (review)

My Old True Love: A Novel My Old True Love: A Novel by Sheila Kay Adams
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A poignant story, both frank and tender, told in an Appalachian voice that rings true—that is My Old True Love, a novel by Sheila Kay Adams. Arty Norton Wallin (the narrator) is “mountain,” way down to the marrow of her bones, and I can’t help but think that Sheila Kay Adams is, as well. As I read, I was taken back to a time of Appalachian life and culture even older than the one that I recall—but not without the strong flavor of some Smoky Mountain kin that I do recall. More on Southern Literature...

View all my reviews at GoodReads

Sumer is icumen in

Lovely old Middle English song lyrics. I've always gotten a smile from them...

Sumer is icumen in,
Lhude sing cuccu!
Groweth sed and bloweth med
And springeth the wude nu,
Sing cuccu!
Awe bleteth after lomb,
Lhoueth after calve cu;
Bulluc sterteth, bucke verteth,
Murie sing cuccu!

Cuccu, cuccu, wel singes thu, cuccu;
Ne swik thu nauer nu.
Sing cuccu, nu, sing cuccu,
Sing cuccu, sing cuccu, nu!

Beautiful words, and though we don't say them exactly the same today, still ~ a beautiful sentiment. Summer is coming in, spring the woods anew... Sing, cuckoo! Ewe bleateth after lamb, Loweth after the calves, cow... Well, you know the rest, but if you don't, take a new look at the poem; and know that the human spirit has long sought expression; and that, long, long ago, as now, poets and artists found inspiration in the beauty of nature. Loud sings cuckoo!

Some of the older word forms have to be translated, and so several variations exist. Here is a similar, but slightly different version, as well as a more modern translation: Middle English Lyrics: Cuckoo Song

Sunday Cat

The bottom dropped out of the sky and it rained hard and steady all day yesterday. The next county over had flash flooding. We didn't get out at all, except to feed the Sunday cat, our Sunday visitor and from-time-to-time sojourner. She has taken up with again with us for a piece. She limps now, and the once-pretty tabby face begins to show signs of wear, as a degraded woman whose eyes have dark circles under them, and shows hints of new distrust. We hope that she is not again in the family way. More...

Little Visitor

A little skunk peeked around the corner at me, unexpectedly. It reminded me that life can change at any time. Fortunately, it didn't...


Soft pink petals
spin lazily,
taken in the upsweep
of a sudden spring breeze;

and now, pink velvet bits
lie floating...
touching a deep blue sky
of liquid glass,
far above clouds
that drift beneath
pale pink feet.