William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Two Hundred or Two Thousand

Having finished today the two-volume set of Harlem Renaissance novels, I’ve decided to add one more voice from the time to this phase of reading — that of Zora Neale Hurston. One novel of hers will suffice for now: Their Eyes Were Watching God. It’s her best known, and one of several included in Library of America’s two-volume edition of her writing.* Then I will move on to William Wells Brown’s Clotel & Other Writings. The result thus far is that I feel I’ve aged at least two hundred years — or maybe two thousand. Arna Bontemps’ Black Thunder is largely responsible for this. His telling of the Gabriel Prosser slave revolt in Virginia in 1800 is beyond chilling. It may sound childish when I say I will never be the same having read it, but it’s true; and besides, I have no desire to be the same — otherwise, why would I be reading at all?

* Thank you again, Br. Tom.

November 27, 2020


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Categories: New Poems & Pieces

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