The Prairie Post: Willa Cather’s Set of Novels, O Pioneers!….

I will be reading my poem tomorrow, Friday, March 11th at Indelible’s online Poetry Launch event that will take place at 10 AM EST.

This scene, from my balcony in Massachusetts, of at first, very thickly-frosted pine trees all morning giving way to dripping and trickling onto the melting ground with such warm winter sun, shown at high morning and also observed through the window, has illustrated the first poem of mine in such a way I didn’t think of myself.

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I had given in to my Willa Cather prairie craving one day and enjoyed that…I will share nothing about the third, My Antonia (1918) the most famous one except that I loved how the author explored shared storytelling from different perspectives all fluidly presented in this novel set brilliantly in the first person with a male narrator who somehow feels very realistically himself as a man named Jim.

As for Prairie two, The Song of the Lark (1915) I’d written:

“…But then the story feels like it’s been blown away, with new characters and the main one Thea as it moves toward the middle, and that very physical embodiment, complex characters, and realistic, undramatized conflict gives way to a runaway philosophy of art…

and the reader too is whipped out of the story where there’s mainly philosophical text and explanation that lacks the appealingly natural simplicity and direct embodiment at the start.”

And the first one, O Pioneers! (1913) I’d had a particular pleasantry toward, such carefree telling and brilliant scenes flowing in descriptions of people and setting so flickeringly alive and sweet, like champagne poured bubbling golden and bursting light in a clear glass, to paraphrase part of a remembered description I believe was about the character, Marie’s eyes.

These novels can be read as single books and it is nice you can pick freely like that from the set if you wish. I was inspired in a few ways by the author: to write fiction and continue reading it, to read a book by Willa Cather’s own favorite author she’d mentioned in her book and had looked up to: Sarah Orne Jewett, and to get to know the specific trees or little shrubs in a season and continue to, ones I see everyday and live so near, to know them a little bit more personally.

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