Bread Without Sorrow – John Hodgen

I just read this. I thought it was really good. I had never heard of John Hodgen. I got this cause I played that game where you wander aimlessly in the aisles of the library, and kind of unfocus your eyes and see what grabs you. This slim volume stood out. Not sure how to describe his poems.. poignant. They sit on you. There is one where he describes needing to declare his mother’s ashes at the airport, a line:

the dusty birds that were once her tender hands,

the one hundred and nine small bones of her face…”

What a beautiful line.

From: “On Carrying My Mother’s Cremated Remains To Virginia Beach To My Brother” by: John Hodgen


There is another about Geronimo riding an elevator:

Spirit house, he called it, the wickiup of ups and downs,

that lifted him to the vision place, where Custer lost his footing on the Greasy Grass,

where wasichus fell upside down from the sky..

-from “Hanging On” by: John Hodgen

Photo by me

In his poem, “On Hearing a Young Husband’s Testimony Before a Congressional Sub-Committee About the Manner In Which The FAA Crash Recovery Team Had Informed Him That They Found His Wife’s Hand,” the way he describes the hand, that was all that was left of this man’s wife, had me holding my breath.

I love it when random library trances work out.


About Beauty and Dreams

I'm just a lady in Portland, OR. Check out my blog! Drawings, collage and more!
This entry was posted in books, Poems, Quotes and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Bread Without Sorrow – John Hodgen

  1. orples says:

    You can look at Geronimo in the photo you posted and see the strength in his character, despite the fact that resignation overshadows the determination of days past. He was such an admirable leader. It is just sad that he ended up dying in prison. It was a fate he did not deserve.

  2. I agree. To say that man was tough is an understatement. He went beyond.

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