The Grass is Green

Two posts within forty-eight hours! I win!

I finished April’s desperately overdue book activity a few days ago. The rules of engagement were: wax poetic and use a non adhesive binding. Choosing the text for this project made me crazy! Initially I wanted to use the poetry of a friend, but he wasn’t thrilled about others reading the musings of his early twenties. Then, I found some limericks written by my grandfather, but they didn’t seem appropriate. As I vacantly stared into the yard, bemoaning my lack of poetry, I noticed the grass, green and out of control. Ha! I went to the interwebs and found a poem related to grass. Carl Sandburg’s Grass (represented here with improper spacing. Apologies):

Pile the bodies high at Austerlitz and Waterloo.

Shovel them under and let me work–

I am the grass; I cover all.

And pile them high at Gettysburg

And pile them high at Ypres and Verdun.

Shovel them under and let me work.

Two years, ten years, and the passengers ask the conductor:

What place is this?

Where am I now?

I am the grass.

Let me work.

Gettysburg is all grass now. A visitor would never know that 7,000 soldiers died there and over 50,000 suffered casualties. I find the words somber, yet comforting.

I printed the poem on Murano paper and shredded it to be reminiscent of grass. The covers are recycled printing plates from a former project, sanded and distressed. The book is held together with a stab binding. I was hoping for a balance between manufactured and organic- the machine of war and the patience of the natural world. It lacks subtlety, but that’s what comes from playing catch-up.

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