Nov 6, 2022 • 3M

POEM: "At 84 Years Old, Toni Morrison Wonders If She’s Depressed"

"My god, the ghosts don't come quietly anymore."

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Since I’m re-reading Toni Morrison’s novel Jazz, I thought now would be ideal time to share the poem I wrote about her for my book Alive at the End of the World. This is a persona poem inspired by her 2015 “Fresh Air” interview with Terry Gross, during which Morrison admitted “I guess I’m depressed. (laughter) I don’t know. I can’t explain it. Part of it is the irritability of being eighty-four, and part of it is being not as physically strong as I once was. And part of it is my misunderstanding, I think, of what’s going on in the world.”

At 84 Years Old, Toni Morrison Wonders If She’s Depressed

History pretends to forget itself

and memory bruises me back

into a burdened blue hour. My god,

the ghosts don’t come quietly

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