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Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels

I am almost 2/3 of the way through this book, given to me by my daughter. I read it alternating with the book on Buddhism and a book of short Irish mysteries.

It is a book that makes me think. I think about the holocaust, about the personal view of it, the individual stories that are so plentiful in this book, some of which I have heard before, many of which I have not. I think about the writer, who is first of all a poet. I wonder what her everyday life is like, if she talks like this at home. It's a break to think of
things like this. I think about the destroyed history, deliberately destroyed so a new history could be written. History is always written by the victors.

I think about life and love and the use of memories in our lives.

I am also working on the web pages for the chorale, and in that process reading about Benjamin Britten and the War Requiem. The requiem is an intertwining of standard liturgical Latin mass sections and the poetry of Wilfred Owen. Owen wrote of war: "My subject is War, and the pity of War. The Poetry is in the pity."

He wrote of it what it really was, not what people want it to be. He was only 25 but sometimes age is not chronological. The longer I live the more I believe this.

These two parts of my life are impossibly blended right now.

I look forward to reading the book of poetry by the same writer. Soemtimes I think a book of poetry is one of the greatest gifts one can give. One can live in such a book for years. I don't read much poetry and I wonder why.


Judith Lautner
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January 2012


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