Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Mail Call

Yesterday, I received a package from my mother in the mail, that I am really excited to have.

For the past 3 years or so, my mother has been living in Sacramento, in her mother's old house. (My grandmother passed away when I was a senior in college.) She has been slowly cleaning the garage out and finding homes for all of my grandmother's belongings. This has been a hard process for her, because she wants to be pragmatic -- there's stuff that she wants to save and stuff she wants to trash. But also, as she cleans, she is literally combing through memories of her mother's life. It is an arduous process for her.

Earlier this month, she found two of my grandmother's old poetry books. I don't remember this, but my grandmother loved poetry. According to my mother, she was able to quote Browning and Shakespeare at the drop of a hat. Well, my mother found two first edition Edna St. Vincent Millay books. The first is Fatal Interview, published in 1931 and the second is Make Bright the Arrows, published in 1940.

I'm glad that my mom sent me these books now, when I can appreciate both Millay's delicate and subversive style (I hated her in college, loved her in grad school), and the provenance of these books. In the note my mother wrote to me with the package, she said that because of my grandmother's love of poetry, I came to my vocation honestly. I'm pretty proud of this small legacy.


Jo said...

What a wonderful link to your grandmother. I'm not familiar with her work, I'll go google.

Marie said...

You are so lucky! Now you know where your love of poetry comes from...What a treasure to remember your grandmother by and what a lovely link to the past. I grew up loving Edna St. Vincent Millay and Browning and Shakespeare..This will be a wonderful heirloom to pass down through the generations.