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Showing posts with label well water. Show all posts
Showing posts with label well water. Show all posts

Monday, April 22, 2013

'Well Water' by Randall Jarrell


Well Water

  by Randall Jarrell 1969
What a girl called "the dailiness of life"
(Adding an errand to your errand.  Saying,
"Since you're up . . ." Making you a means to
A means to a means to) is well water
Pumped from an old well at the bottom of the world.
The pump you pump the water from is rusty
And hard to move and absurd, a squirrel-wheel
A sick squirrel turns slowly, through the sunny
Inexorable hours.  And yet sometimes
The wheel turns of its own weight, the rusty
Pump pumps over your sweating face the clear
Water, cold, so cold! you cup your hands
And gulp from them the dailiness of life.

From The Complete Poems by Randall Jarrel

Randall Jarrell
In 1914, Randall Jarrell was born in Nashville, Tennessee. He earned bachelor's and master's degrees from Vanderbilt University. From 1937 to 1939 he taught at Kenyon College, where he met John Crowe Ransom and Robert Lowell, and then at the University of Texas.
His first book of poems, Blood for a Stranger, was published in 1942, the same year he enlisted in the Army Air Corps. He soon left the Air Corps for the army and worked as a control tower operator, an experience which provided much material for his poetry.

Following the war, Jarrell accepted a teaching position at the Woman's College of the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, and remained there, except for occasional absences to teach elsewhere, until his death. Even more than for his poems, Jarrell is highly regarded as a peerless literary essayist, and was considered the most astute (and most feared) poetry critic of his generation.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

A Heavenly Bath in An Old Wash Bucket

As a child, I visited my grandparents in Sixes, Georgia outside of Canton for the entire summer.  There was no modern plumbing system only well water.  All the water used for cooking and bathing had to be drawn by buckets from the well.   I took my bath in a large tin bucket like the one in the picture hanging on the front porch.  In the evening, I bathed on the back porch and the water had to be heated in a kettle on a old wooden stove.  The tin bucket had many uses.  It was used to wash the freshly picked garden vegetables and it was used to wash my behind.

My grandmother made her own soap for washing clothes.  It was harsh and I never used it.  I always prefer catching rain water for my bath.  There was a delight in knowing I was being bathed from the waters that fell from the heavenly sky. Maybe there was star dust floating in the water or it might have been touched by the moon or kissed by an angel. In other words, it was a heavenly bath for a young child to enjoy.