Saturday, October 21, 2006

My friend and mentor Deborah Tall passed away Thursday night. She was far too young. I hope to write something about her writing and her life here at a later date, but I have mostly silence to say right now.

This is from her memoir/lyric essay _A Family of Strangers_, just out from Graywolf:

We race after spray trucks during mosquito season, see who can be ghosted in the white mist of DDT.

We follow around my father as he spritzes the scrawny rose bushes to protect them from the beautifully iridescent Japanese beetles.

A nearby chemical plant makes us gag when the wind blows our direction.

From every angle, we are hemmed in by identical pale gray rooftops.

Walt Whitman is the name of a seven-lane bridge across the Delaware.

1 comment:

Craig Morgan Teicher said...

Hey Jasper,

it really saddens me to hear of her death, and I send my condolences. I didn't know her, but I corresponded with her a bit about Seneca Review, and then read, and was deeply moved by, A FAMILY OF STRANGERS. It seems pretty clear that she was a force for good in poetry, and in the world. Her death is very sad news.