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Stones

I wanted to post a poem, as it seems everyone else on my flist has, but I couldn't find one that expressed what I wanted to say that hadn't been read, or posted, or discussed, so many times. My friend lidocafe would know just the right one, I'm sure, and possibly has already posted one. Look there for poetry. Look about you.

So, instead, I thought I would post a few paragraphs from one of the most effective stories I have read about the effects of war on those who stayed home: "Stones," by Timothy Findley.

The beaches at Dieppe can throw you off balance. The angle at which they slope into the water is both steep and dangerous. At high tide you can slide into the waves and lose your footing before you've remembered how to swim. The stones are treacherous. But they are also beautiful.
...
I didn't want to relive the battle. I hadn't come to conjure ghosts. But the ghosts and the battle are palpable around you there, no matter what your wishes are. The sound of the tide rolling back across the stones is all the cue you need to be reminded of that summer day in 1942. I stood that evening, resting my arms along the wall and thinking at last, my father has come home.
...
The stones at Dieppe are mostly flint - and their colours range from white through yellow to red. The red stones look as if they have been washed in blood and the sight of them takes your breath away. I hunkered down above them, holding all that remained of my father in my fist. He felt like a powdered stone - pummelled and broken.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
lady_schrapnell
Nov. 12th, 2007 07:46 am (UTC)
I was (apparently) skimming the intro and thought this was a poem...
intertext
Nov. 12th, 2007 06:29 pm (UTC)
It shows you how beautifully Findley writes! I was thinking the same thing, when re-reading the snippets I've posted, especially the last bit.
lady_schrapnell
Nov. 12th, 2007 08:55 pm (UTC)
Yes - I thought after that I might well have been less than clear in my comment and hoped you'd understood it was a comment on the poetic quality of the prose, rather than on my careless reading!
lidocafe
Nov. 12th, 2007 10:07 pm (UTC)
Yes, a moving story. I will be teaching Findley's The Wars this term, and students always love that book and his writing. Good choice.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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