Thursday, October 12, 2006


by Julia Kasdorf

We keep our quilts in closets and do not dance.
We hoe thistles along fence rows for fear
we may not be perfect as our Heavenly Father.
We clean up his disasters. No one has to
call; we just show up in the wake of tornadoes
with hammers, after floods with buckets. . . (Read entire)

Another Julia Kasdorf poem -- “Onion, Fruit of Grace” -- was the daily poem in the Writer’s Almanac a few day ago, and reminded me how much I like Julia Kasdorf’s writing. I can especially relate to "Mennonites," above, seeing as this is also my ethnic background. In fact, I find from this article, that Julia Kasdorf even claims to be of the specific branch of Mennonite heritage (Mennonite Brethren) that I grew up in. (Does that mean I qualify for reflected glory or what?! )

Some other poems by Julia Kasdorf:

First Gestures

Flying Lesson

The Baby Screaming in the Back Seat (page 15 of this 32-page .pdf file)


Julana said...

I have mixed feelings about Julia Kasdorf. If you read her The Body and the Book, you'd know why.

In some ways, I feel she's sold out the people who gave her a platform. She's used the Amish/Mennonite reputation to get ahead. In on of her books, she mentioned that some of the Mennonites were not happy with some of the things she had written. They aren't always flattering. That isn't the problem, so much as that they aren't always kind--not always written with an eye of love. There are ways and ways of being truthful, if you know what I mean.

violet said...

Julana, I haven't read The Body and the Book - so maybe I endorsed her prematurely. What I read of her I liked, although I found some did have a bite to it. I can think of other writers who have that love/hate relationship with their Mennonite roots and have been less than kind in expressing it.