The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Samhain and <a href

A very happy and blessed Halloween, All Souls, Samhain, Day of the Dead or whatever else you might be celebrating this October 31st.

By Louise Glück

In your extended absence, you permit me
use of earth, anticipating
some return on investment. I must report
failure in my assignment, principally
regarding the tomato plants.
I think I should not be encouraged to grow
tomatoes. Or, if I am, you should withhold
the heavy rains, the cold nights that come
so often here, while other regions get
twelve weeks of summer. All this
belongs to you: on the other hand,
I planted the seeds, I watched the first shoots
like wings tearing the soil, and it was my heart
broken by the blight, the black spot so quickly
multiplying in the rows. I doubt
you have a heart, in our understanding of
that term. You who do not discriminate
between the dead and the living, who are, in consequence,
immune to foreshadowing, you may not know
how much terror we bear, the spotted leaf,
the red leaves of the maple falling
even in August, in early darkness: I am responsible
for these vines.


From The Halloween Tarot by Karin Lee and Kipling West.

Friday Five:

1. What was your first Halloween costume?

I was a jester, in a homemade costume by my mother.

2. What was your best costume and why?
The Statue of Liberty, also made by my mother.

3. Did you ever play a trick on someone who didn't give you a treat?
I've never played a trick on anyone other than surreptitiously trading their prized Junior Mints and Baby Ruths for my overabundant Snickers and Milky Ways.

4. Do you have any Halloween traditions? (ie: Family pumpkin carving, special dinner before trick or treating, etc.)
All of the above. We do the family pumpkin carving the night before and I toast the pumpkin seeds while the kids sketch on the pumpkins the faces they want for their jack-o-lanterns. Since we've discovered Yankee Candle's spiced pumpkin candles, we usually burn one of those every night for at least the week before the holiday, too. We try to have pumpkin soup and pumpkin pie, though not always on Halloween necessarily as we know we will be eating so much junk later that we keep dinner to a minimum. I burn incense for Samhain after everyone is back from trick or treating.

5. Share your favorite scary story...real or legend!
I've never been a big horror fan, but the stories that have appealed to me have tended to be the ones about how horrific people can be to one another. Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" is probably my favorite of those.


1. What is the movie that scared you the most? (Notice I didn’t say the scariest movie.) Does it scare you still?
Actually it was Darth Vader's voice in Star Wars. I'd been scared shitless of James Earl Jones since I first saw him on Sesame Street teaching kids to count -- when he got to ten he would scream it and I would run out of the room. I called him "the bald man," since he was bald then. And I got over it at some point, though when I first saw the movie in elementary school (in 1977, I'm first generation), I had to sleep with the hall light on.

2. What is the tv show or episode that scared you the most? Does it scare you still?
The X-Files about the doctor who did the liposuction psycho stuff. I walked out the first time and I never want to see it again.

3) Do you watch horror movies/tv shows or avoid them? Why?
I've never seen any of the Halloweens and I only saw the first Friday the 13th. I'll see horror if it has some other compelling attraction, a story like Alien or an actor I like (I've probably seen more bad horror for Louise Fletcher than anyone else).

4) What is the best “Very Special Halloween” episode of all time? Why?
I'm going to have to go with Star Trek's "Catspaw." Heh.

5) You have an unlimited budget and the best costumers and makeup people from Hollywood to help you, who or what do you dress as for Halloween?
I don't care what kind of robes I'm wearing but I want to be a Hogwarts teacher with a broomstick that actually flies.

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