Grace Paley

(11 December 1922 – 22 August 2007 / Bronx, New York)

People In My Family - Poem by Grace Paley

In my family
people who were eighty-two were very different
from people who were ninety-two

The eighty-two-year-old people grew up
it was 1914
this is what they knew
WarWorld WarWar

That's why when they speak to the child
they say
poor little one . . .

The ninety-two-year-old people remember
it was the year 1905
they went to prison
they went into exile
they saidahsoon

When they speak to the grandchild
they say
yesthere will be revolution
then there will be revolutionthen
once morethen the earth itself
will turn and turn and cry outoh I
have been made sick

then youmy little bud
must flower and save it


Comments about People In My Family by Grace Paley

  • Rookie Sonya Friedman (4/23/2012 10:41:00 AM)

    Another marvelous poem by Grace Paley! For those interested in this extraordinary writer, please see www.gracepaleyvideo.com - where Grace reads her poetry, speaks to students about writing, and reminisces about her life in literature and politics. (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, April 19, 2012



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