Happy Birthday, Grace Paley
One of my favorite writers, Grace Paley, was born on this day in 1922. (The link will take you to her 1992 Paris Review interview.) She is best remembered for her short stories, and once, at the library, I found a set of cassette tapes of her reading her own fiction. If these are ever released on CD, I will be the first in line to buy them.
Paley was also well known for her political activism, and she wrote poetry. Here’s one, from Fidelity, published in 2008:
Sometimes you don’t want to love the person you love
you turn your face away from that face
whose eyes lips might make you give up anger
forget insult steal sadness of not wanting
to love turn away then turn away at breakfast
in the evening don’t lift your eyes from the paper
to see that face in all its seriousness a
sweetness of concentration he holds his book
in his hand the hard-knuckled winter wood-
scarred fingers turn away that’s all you can
do old as you are to save yourself from love
i heard it was Grace Paley’s birthday today on The Writer’s Almanac. Apparently, when people told her they liked one of her stories, she would say, “What about the rest of them?” This inspired a poem. Thank you for sharing.