By Paul Engle

ISBN-10: 0877455406

ISBN-13: 9780877455400

The legacy of poet Paul Engle, who died in 1991, contains the overseas Writing application on the collage of Iowa, which he helped present in 1967, and the memoir A fortunate American adolescence. Engle grew up in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, throughout the Nineteen Twenties on a hardscrabble farm the place his family members struggled to make ends meet. now not unavoidably the conventional education floor for a poet and educator, yet Engle reveals in his adolescence the uncooked fabrics that formed him not just as a poet yet as an individual to boot.

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He had a violent temper and would yell at us children for the smallest noise or for the failure to do what he expected of us. Mother, never harsh toward us, had total patience and an absolute devotion to her children, which must have been so intense partly because it was hard to communicate with her husband. Because of the ruthless demands of Father's jobhe had to feed and water those great animals twice a day, every Saturday, every Sunday, every holidaythere were ruthless demands on Mother. She envied wives whose husbands only worked five or six days a week when hers worked seven, from six o'clock in the morning to nine at night, and often later in summer.

We had a cherry tree, which Mother, in a fit of extravagance when she was young, had bought from a traveling salesman who was probably Johnny Cherry Seed. It flourished, gave us a huge crop of cherries each year, which I picked with Page 4 a short ladder at the risk of my life. ) It was fruit-canning season. I was five. The day before, Mother had cut her thumb deeply when slicing a piece of tough beef. The slash was bleeding again and I was scared, but she took a piece of gauze bandage, wrapped it tightly around her thumb, showed me how to tear the end of the bandage down the middle to make two strips, wrap them around the thumb, and tie them twice.

I would chase the poor bird around the yard until I had it under an arm so it could not beat its wings, while avoiding the sharp toes. Then I put it in a special little coop with water and feed. When Bob came home he Page 13 took the chicken by the head, we scattered, and he would "wring its neck," whirling the creature around and around until its head tore away from the neck and the bird fell to the grass. ) The chicken would flap around in circles, blood running from its neck, still breathing, until it finally lay quiet and unmoving.

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A lucky American childhood by Paul Engle


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