Toni Morrison Day

Toni Morrison (1931-2019) was an American novelist, essayist, editor, and professor. She was the first African-American woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993. She was also the recipient of the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction, for her 1987 novel “Beloved”, and of many more awards.
She wrote a volume of poetry, “Five Poems” (2002), from which “Eve Remembering” is taken .

February 18, her birthday, has officially become “Toni Morrison Day”.

Eve Remembering

1
I tore from a limb fruit that had lost its green.
My hands were warmed by the heat of an apple
Fire red and humming insight.
I bit sweet power to the core.
How can I say what it was like?
The taste! The taste undid my eyes
And led me far from the gardens planted for a child
To wildernesses deeper than any master’s call.

2
Now these cool hands guide what they once caressed;
Lips savor what they have kissed.
My eyes now pool their light
Better the summit to see.
Better the summit to see.

3
I would do it all over again:
Be the harbor and set the sail,
Loose the breeze and harness the gale,
Cherish the harvest of what I have been.
Better the summit to scale.
Better the summit to be.

The poem makes reference to the biblical Eve and her experience in the Garden of Eden, biting the apple from the tree of knowledge. This is a metaphor for the loss of the innocence of childhood.
Here the woman is reflecting on the transition from youthful thinking to a worldly understanding: her learning is an essential part of her growth, and she has no regrets.

Eva ricorda…
1
Ho strappato da un ramo un frutto che aveva perso il suo verde.
Le mie mani erano scaldate dal calore di una mela
rosso fuoco e grondante intuizione.
Ho addentato quella dolce energia fino al torsolo.
Come faccio a dire com’era?
Il sapore! Oh, il sapore mi ha aperto gli occhi
e mi ha portata lontano da quei giardini piantati per un bimbo
verso lande selvagge più profonde della chiamata di un qualsiasi padrone.

2
Ora queste mani fresche guidano ciò che una volta solo accarezzavano;
le labbra assaporano ciò che baciavano
i miei occhi ora raccolgono la loro luce
per meglio scorgere la vetta,
per meglio scorgere la vetta.

3
Lo rifarei ancora:
essere il porto e salpare
allentare le vele al vento e imbrigliare la tempesta,
amare il frutto di ciò che ero,
per meglio scalare la vetta,
per meglio essere io vetta.

(L.Z.)

Image: detail from Hugo van der Goes – The Fall (after 1479)

57 thoughts on “Toni Morrison Day

  1. Thank you LUISA very nice . HOPE you’re well . miss you take god bless please keep Sammy &I. Close in prayer today we are on our way to vets again. Something has changed after his surgery we will know today and then I will start 10 shots for my recovery his dr. Is right very sad much crying 🐈🐾📕

    Liked by 1 person

      1. THANK YOU FOR THE COMFORT WORDS ,MUCH NEEDED , THE NEW DOCTOR IS AN IDIOT SHE IS VERY PUSHY AND KNOW IT ALL ATTITUDE , YOUNG JUST OUT OF SCHOOL TYPE . MY LITTLE SAMMY’S LIFE WAS AT STAKE..I HAD CALLED THE OFFICE OUT OF DESPERATION ON WEDNESDAY, BEGGING TO SPEAK TO HER ABOUT AN ISSUE TO NO AVAIL BUT MY FRIEND SHARON WAS ANGRY & THREATENING MANNER SOOO DR. CALLED ME . SHE REALLY TERRIFIED ME IN HER WORDS .BABY MIGHT HAVE SYMPTOMS OF RABIES ,A HORRIBLE DEATH AND WOULD BE DANGEROUS TO ME ALSO. THE WAY SHE WOULD KNOW IS TO KILL HIM AND AUTOPSY HIS BRAIN. MY GOD I STARTED SCREAMING AND GOING NUTS BUT AFTER WE FINALLY GOT HIM BACK THERE SHE CHANGED HER STORY. MY LORD HELP US 😿💃🤸‍♀️

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I. I think that’s very intelligent what they do in Italy here it’s a little different you have to quarantine them at home if there’s a bite like I had in my hand and leg then you just sit around and watch them she said put them in a dark room just put food and water in and leave them like that ,well I can’t really do that he may not have the infection but if I behave like that to him he’ll be nuts she said to me if he dies while he’s in the room just put his dead body in the refrigerator and I’m like well do we put a near the turkey or the ham I mean this is crazy but I think it would be smart to quarantine him at the veterinarians that way they could watch over him, that way the owner and if there are children in the family are traumatized . in 48 hours I think I had one meal and I couldn’t care less if I eat or not .. now we’re right in front of the veterinarian hospital again and demanded another doctor he is bleeding very very badly he went right on the kitchen floor to show the other Sharon and myself he needs help it could be a simple urinary tract infection after his surgery to alter him . this is gone haywire and unchecked for over a week by them ..like I pointed out once that sometimes older people get these infections and until they’re cleared up they start becoming very violent ,as a nurse I’ve seen this firsthand with older people the nicest people will grab you and hit you in the face or rip your hair so why wouldn’t the kitty hurt you and attack you when they’re going through this . this infection goes to their brain .. so we’re here again he’s been bleeding a lot the doctor the idiot doctor said yesterday his bladder was all filled with blood or she could have done this to him herself trying to get the sample either way we’re back here again unbelievable ,,, please keep us in your prayers I know prayer helps thank you my dear hugs to you too 😻😿🤸‍♀️

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Be sure that I will keep you in my prayers. And you, please, keep me informed of how things are going. Unfortunately, if he is very sick and in pain, and there is no hope, perhaps the only thing to do is euthanasia. Animals are not like us who think about the future, about a miraculous improvement. They are really sick, they don’t understand why and they suffer unnecessarily 😘💜😘

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful, Luisa. Your posts do always seem to fill in gaps and delight. Toni Morrison, a name but little knowledge. I have now got a strong feel of this authour and poet thanks to you. The poem you chosen is so bright and deeply emotional. Some book buying is called for.

    Miriam

    Liked by 2 people

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