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Blood and Bone, River and Stone

By Christopher Kuhl

Through a mixture of genres and styles, Blood and Bone, River and Stone: Memoirs of Lewis County tells a story of a rural land and its people. Not every event is factual, but they are, in some way, the kinds of things that can–and do–happen in all rural areas.

Author Christopher Kuhl creates a tale of the land and people of rugged Lewis County. He dramatizes accounts of select families and their interaction with the land, each other, and the place they call home. In a country founded by farmers–and still rural in many of its values–Kuhl’s innovative poetic narrative resonates across all classes. Blood and Bone, River and Stone’s truth is revealed in the tales of who these people are and where they came from.

Kuhl has perfectly blended history, family stories, and mythology about this unforgiving land and its impact upon the generations who lived there. For him, it rings true that the river and stone are ineradicably in his blood and bones.

Christopher Kuhl, a poet with roots in northern New York, taught writing for a number of years in a variety of venues. His work has been published widely.

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Everyday I Will Remember

By Christopher Kuhl

We live in dangerous times. And the past century was just as dangerous, convulsed in several wars, two of them world wars, spanning the globe, but especially focused in Europe. Of these, World War II was especially perverted as the Nazis of Germany aimed at creating a pure, Aryan "master race," and to do so by killing all the Jews. And with Germany's self-proclaimed efficiency, they created a network of death and labor camps, complete with everything needed to capture, transport and exterminate six million Jews. This is what the Nazis called the "Final Solution" (as of 1942), and would become known by the Jews as "the Holocaust." Millions of people of all nationalities and beliefs were murdered by the fascists, but the "Holocaust" is the name especially referring to the mass slaughter of the Jews, like a burnt offering.

Today, almost eighty years after the anti-Semitism of the 1930's and 1940's took off in Germany, people are forgetting about the Holocaust, some even denying that it ever happened. At a recent poetry reading, as I was reading a Holocaust poem, I was heckled by a group of young people who yelled that it never happened, and even if it did, "who cares?" I continued to read to the end, and knew, in a way I never had as deeply, the need to remember, not just here in the United States, but the world over.

And hence, "Every Day I Will Remember." The collection of poems is in two parts: the first is about the actual carrying out of the Holocaust; the second about the relocated survivors' lives and those of the first generation of children born to them. The poems are built around my family who, except for my mother and her mother, were wiped out; my mother and grandmother came eventually to the United States as DPs (Displaced Persons). Other poems come from stories I read and heard from other survivors and their families.

As expected, much of this is dark, especially in Part 1, but there are rays of light; after all, it took not only luck, but strength, courage, faith, and hope to survive. Part 2, after the war, has more light, but it too has dark moments. Yet, by book's end, there is joy: God preserved us. We must continue to remember, stand strong and united, and even in the face of tragedy, "live, life, live" (from the poem, "Rejoice"). Praise God. Remember. Shalom.

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2 responses to “About the Book”

Reviews

  1. This collection of poems stuns the reader with metaphors and melodies which go straight to the heart. Beautiful and powerful, straightforward and loving are Kuhl’s renderings of homeland. She is a new star in poetry.

  2. It has beauty and strength, and with many poems, brilliance. He writes of difficult issues with an aesthetic that in itself is healing. And gives comfort and hope.


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Product Details

  • File Size 222 KB
  • Print Length 102 pages
  • Publisher Stratton Press; 1 edition (June 11, 2018)
  • Publication Date June 11, 2018
  • Language English
  • ASIN B07DV6GJHW
  • Text-to-Speech Enabled
  • X-Ray Not Enabled
  • Word Wise Enabled
  • Lending Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting Enabled