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By Paul Engle

The legacy of poet Paul Engle, who died in 1991, comprises the foreign Writing software on the collage of Iowa, which he helped present in 1967, and the memoir A fortunate American formative years. Engle grew up in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in the course of the Nineteen Twenties on a hardscrabble farm the place his family members struggled to make ends meet. now not unavoidably the traditional education flooring for a poet and educator, yet Engle reveals in his adolescence the uncooked fabrics that formed him not just as a poet yet as an individual to boot.

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He had died at age eight after pumping ice-cold water over his body at the well after a long hike had made him sweaty. I do not remember any year when we did not have those peonies for our annual trip to the cemeteries in Tom's wagon. We picnicked at the edge of the graves. Grandpa's had a tiny American flag and a star of iron because he was a veteran. We had one clump of single peonies with their circle of huge red petals and a great gold clump of pollen in the center. Each autumn Mother and I took roots from the largest plants and put them in at the ends of the row.

The difference is absolute: will you have a healthy mind, be allowed to read anything you want, be free to criticize your government, take any job you want if qualified, study whatever you wish, travel anywhere in this country or in the world with a passport which your government must give, be safe from arrest for holding the "wrong" ideas or reading the wrong books, and, with your own dollars, send your kids to schools where they are not required to learn a rigid ideology?  If people are bitter against our government, they have a way of getting rid of it short of violence: at the next election they can simply throw it out on the street (although with fat pensions).

She once made a "mackinaw" jacket for Bob of wool cloth so thick she had to struggle to get the needle through, as the machine could not handle it. She also sewed horse blankets out of used khaki army issue which could be bought cheaply after World War I. And of course she knit mittens for all of us, usually red with black designs, and sweaters, and things for the feet we could wear around the house in winter because our floors were always cold from our inadequate furnace. She once knit me a green stocking cap with a red tassel.

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