Triquarterly Books. Northwestern University Press.
From: A university library.
For the challenge:
I picked this book of poems randomly off the shelves because I liked the title and the description on the back, which reads in part: “Beginning with the sequence titled “German Chronicle,” Wood evokes her childhood in Germany during the Second World War, recording the war’s impact on the world in general and on her family in particular.”
This sequence did end up being my favorite. Though I had moments of connection in the later poems, or admiration for a phrase or word choice, I found the subject matter of “German Chronicle” to be the most compelling.
Here is an excerpt from “German Chronicle” (sorry I couldn’t get the line spacing to be smaller):
8. Berlin: 1940/1945
I remember nothing of that city but a dead mouse
we buried together, how my mother scooped out a hole
in my grandfather’s garden and I placed the small corpse
inside, wrapped in its shroud of maple leaf.
How I filled in the earth until it made a mound
and marked it with a small oval of stones.
Later when we found out about my father,
how he had died in that city, I remembered
that mouse and how my mother had wiped the earth from the ring
on her finger so carefully. Then I saw that soil
on the ring of his hand. And he and the mouse
became inseparable, so when I thought of him walking through the streets
in those last days, there was always a mouse on the sidewalk
scampering ahead like a shadow before him.