I’m in a good flow with my writing and rarely do I take a break to read a book. I’m busy creating a book. I don’t have time. One of my sisters (you know who you are) was at my work and told me about a book I had to read. She described it as a fictionalized story written in poetry form about a woman who helped unionized the garment district in the early 1900s.
I thought – poetry? Really to tell this story? Well move over Homer the epic poem has a new face. Even better, it has a strong, powerful, inspiring face talking about an amazing woman (yes there were amazing women in history) who did incredible things against all those who told her to be submissive.
Melanie Crowder has created an incredible story based on the real life of Clara Lemlich. My sister handed me the book and I was skeptical. How would you tell a story like this in poetry. Buy the book, open its pages and read. I read the first poem and wanted to keep reading but couldn’t as I was at work.
In three hours, I read the poems, the Historical Note, and the interview with the family. I wanted more. The poems are not hard to read or puzzle out the meaning but they have depth and breadth which is almost unseen today. In so few words, Crowder manages to entrance, engage, and emotionally draw in the reader. It was worth interrupting my own work to be inspired by her work.
I’ve got quotes and two of her poems which moved me so much I’ll be copying them into my journal. I must remember these words. In a time of social apathy and upheaval (yes it’s possible to have both), this story illustrates how one person can make a difference and how one person can inspire others to work together to create the change which is needed. Go buy this book. Stop reading my blog and go buy her book!