Family of Man

It's late at night on 5.28.  May 28.  We buried my father's ashes in St. Stephen's churchyard today (my mother was born on St. Stephen's Day - 12.26).  In a beautiful spot beside Minnehaha Creek.  My mother will be buried there too, someday.  She says she hopes the creek will flood sometime, & wash them all downstream.  My mother had her first drink (sherry) at the home of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (in Portland, Maine) at the age of about 12 or 13 (ca. 1940).  She was pals with the daughter of "Laughing Allegra".  "By the shores of Gitchee Gumee..." (- just a little further downstream stands the statue of Hiawatha carrying Minnehaha across the stream...)

5.28.  May 28.  I finished the long poem (about 600 pp.) Forth of July on 5.28.2000.  The poem circles around (among other things) the early New England Anglican minister & freethinker & librarian & orchardist & Seeker William Blackstone.  First exile from Boston.  Early settler (pre-Roger Williams) in Rhode Island.  He shows up in many of my poems (see the books Lanthanum, Dove Street...) - even a poem celebrating my father's birthday (4.12.27).  In fact a lot of my poems are numerically structured around the numbers 5, 28 (28 is a perfect number).

Forth of July.  My grandmother (John Gould's mother) was born on the 4th of July, 1900.  Florence Gould was the first Episcopalian (Anglican) in the family.

William Blackstone was buried on his property in Cumberland, RI on or around 5.28.1675.

It's kind of mysterious how life imitates art & art imitates life & the structures of the imagination are worked out in the dust to which thou shalt return.  All these strange shadows of many lives well lived (in the "Family of Man")!

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