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Laurie Lee

I wanted to communicate what I had seen, so that others could see it.

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We were living in the Slad Road when my father left us. I was about three.

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It was a world that I wanted to record because it was such a miracle visitation to me.

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That last winter was a tragic story and I got no personal honour out of it but I was a witness to it.

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I don't know what idiocies drove me in those days, but they were naive, innocent idiocies in many ways.

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I have been sitting watching that ever since I came back, the continuous variations of light and shadow.

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What she did was to open our eyes to details of country life such as teaching us names of wild flowers and getting us to draw and paint and learn poetry.

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I expected to be shot at any moment and if they had done I would have understood, that they couldn't take risks with someone foolhardy or so unpredictable.

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But our waking life, and our growing years, were for the most part spent in the kitchen, and until we married, or ran away, it was the common room we shared.

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Apples

Behold the apples’ rounded worlds:
juice-green of July rain,
the black polestar of flowers, the rind
mapped with its crimson stain.

The russet, crab and cottage red
burn to the sun’s hot brass,
then drop like sweat from every branch
and bubble in the grass.

They lie as wanton as they fall,
and where they fall and break,
the stallion clamps his crunching jaws,
the starling stabs his beak.

In each plump gourd the cidery bite
of boys’ teeth tears the skin;
the waltzing wasp consumes his share,
the bent worm enters in.

[...] Read more

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