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Growing Up -- Two Sonnets

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Message Stephen C. Rose
Late forties 80th 'tween Lex and Third
Fruit wagons coal chutes All Souls sunlight sweet
Hall monsters third floor window hurdy gurd'
Tossed pennies wrapped in paper on the street
Bologna snacks at Mr. Popper's shop
The Harlem-bound El rumbling overhead
No tickie gets no shirtie from Sam Hop
Upon such snapshots memories are fed
We moved away when I was five years old
The loss I tossed off then now seems so deep
The trails I try to follow are so cold
I wonder what it is I cannot keep
Then turn and watch thought castles Nietzsche made
Slip by slip way slip down the slope and fade


I puked a solid mass of gelatin
Cream-colored on an oriental rug
I was just five the school was Oberlin
That one to five time gives my heart a tug
We lived across the street on Eightieth
Ten rooms two floors the best I fancy now
Yes though I am long past halfway to death
I'd go back there again if I knew how
I did go back it was not long ago
I walked from our two rooms near Herald Square
But I could not revive that long lost show
The puke remains my foremost memory
It had a marvelous solidity
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Born in NYC, attended Oberlin & Trinity Schools, then Exeter and Williams (Phi Beta Kappa 1958). Worked with the Reverend James Robinson, finished Union Theological Seminary in NYC (1961). Joined Student Interracial Ministry in Nashville. Founded (more...)
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