Love is not Concerned

Schwäbischer Alb Nov08 080

I am a big fan of Alice Walker. I make no bones about it. I felt blessed to have discovered “The Color Purple”. I remember the summer my mother and a girlfriend came to visit me in Germany for the 1st time.  Although my mom’s not much of a reader, she did read “The Color Purple”, as well as “Rubyfruit Jungle”, that summer while in Germany.  “The Color Purple” is also one of the few DVD’s I actually own.

I have also read many of her other novels with relish and revelation. Other personal favorites: “By the Light of My Father’s Smile”  and “In Love and Trouble: Stories of Black Women“.

Evelyn C. White’s insightful work, “Alice Walker: A Life” also stands high on my list of favorite biographies.

Of course, Alice Walker writes poetry. This morning I grabbed a thin bilingual (English-German) volume of her verse that I picked up several years ago off of a shelf. It’s full with Post-It tabs, so I can turn automatically to poems that have touched me in a special way; inspiring me to make a note or a mark in pencil at any special section I definitely wanted to remember.

Here is a favorite. It’s short and to-the-point, while simultaneously opening up a window onto an entire landscape of the heart.

LOVE IS NOT CONCERNED

Love is not concerned

with whom you pray

or where you slept

the night you ran away

from home

love is concerned

that the beating of your heart

should kill no one.

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4 Comments

  1. Viajera said,

    July 14, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    VERY touching. I had no idea that she wrote poetry. I am also a big fan of the Color Purple. I watched the movie as a teenager, but I was a blockhead, so I didn’t pay much attention. Then in my early twenties, I watched the movie. So heartbreaking and uplifting all at once. Then, I bought and read the novel. It wrenched my emotions apart. I can’t ever read it again (though one read writes it on your soul), but I always recommend.

  2. caratime2 said,

    July 14, 2009 at 9:19 pm

    Thanks for your comment. I actually read the novel “The Color Purple” first – and then the book she wrote about the problems and criticism the book brought for her (“The Same River Twice: Honoring the Difficult”), which was also enlightening.

    And yes, I would recommend that (especially young) people read it!

  3. Dina said,

    July 14, 2009 at 11:44 pm

    I remember reading this book as a child in the dark with my best friend/cousin, flashlight in hand, huddled under the sheets after ‘lights out’… The book was bittersweet, heart-wrenching, and painful to read – all at once.

    A bit off topic: I wasn’t pleased about it being made into a musical. I don’t think the adversity/tragedies of the African-American experience in the US (sexism, racism, oppression, barbarism) is anything to sing, laugh, and smile about, to be honest, and it did frustrate me that this book which touches on those very subjects was being made into this “jovial”, “celebratory” musical. I can’t even imagine who would want to “celebrate” that. I thought the choice was distasteful.

    The only analogy I can provide to illustrate my disdain is a postwar Anne Frank-esque memoir being made into a “celebratory”, “jovial” musical. I doubt we’d ever see something like that in real life. So it bothers me that with this particular African American experience, people would feel the need to make it a “jovial, celebratory musical about redemption, etc.” It’s a painful and complicated book and in my opinion, it was distasteful to make it into a Broadway musical. Bleh.

    I am bemused…

  4. caratime2 said,

    July 15, 2009 at 8:58 am

    I initially had the same thoughts about the musical. In the meantime, though, my mother has seen it and was – unexpectedly – very impressed. The only way that I can explain this ( without having seen the musical myself) is that the black American experience is so intrinsically connected with music of some sort. Music literally accompanies us throughout every stage of our life – be it the religious music of the church (spirituals/gospel) or more secular music (everything from blues and jazz to r & b, hip hop and rap).

    Therefore the end result of a musical doesn’t have to be either celebratory or jovial; at least not all the way through. I can well imagine the blues and mournful spirituals capturing the air of sadness, pain and despair of part of the story, before segueing into the final stage of self-discovery and ‘happy end’.


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