the fiction and poetry of sarah hina
For Whom The Bell Tollsby John DonneNo man is an island,Entire of itself.Each is a piece of the continent,A part of the main.If a clod be washed away by the sea,Europe is the less.As well as if a promontory were.As well as if a manner of thine ownOr of thine friend's were.Each man's death diminishes me,For I am involved in mankind.Therefore, send not to knowFor whom the bell tolls,It tolls for thee.
Thank you for this, Sarah - and for the Donne. Maybe because Hotel d'Ville is within sight, I'm reminded of the death of Diana and can imagine this applying to her and the man having been one of her surgeons or hospital workers. Of course, it is even more romantic if it is his love who has died, but whoever she is, the distinction is made by your character when he says "important people" - as "every man's death diminishes" all of us. I love the way your mind connected the isle with Donne's island, and of course, the use of Notre Dame as setting. This is the perfect vignette for this location.Thank you.
Good poem. Very nice ending. Just curious, does everyone's screen show the html coding in this post? Mine does.
Charles - Mine does not.
Karen, it was my pleasure. And thank you for making such a wonderful, inspired suggestion! :)Yes, I did want to leave her anonymous, in a sense. So that we could all relate to the loss. I treasure the idea of something--be it a sight, feeling, or sound--connecting everyone and making us recognize our shared humanity. If just for a moment. Thank you for your kind reception of this one, Karen. It means a lot. Charles, I did fix the html stuff. I cut and pasted from Word, so I have no idea how that happened! Thanks for the comment. And yeah, I wish I wrote the poem, too. ;)
Beautiful portrayal of such sadness, Sarah!The bell did ring for her, we all heard it.
Damn.August is being kind to you. You've taken your creativity and plugged into achingly deep currents and sharp, delicate skill. Each one of these vignettes picks up the gauntlet thrown by the one before and prevails.The switch of POV adds so much here. I like that we don't get inside the grieving man's head. I get the sense he feels distanced even from himself, so we shouldn't be closer.Expertly done!
ok, let's see if I can write beyond the tears that are clouding my eyes. This was just sublime, I loved the characters. The Frenchness of the bellkeeper just oozed out of him! The man and his anguish were chilling. You told so much with such small hints! The bell, which is a character unto itself, was perfection. I could hear the toll as he walked along the river.Them bells over there is sumpn else, huh? They don't just ring, they get under your skin and shake your soul.
PS, if you ever want to write another one from this neighborhood, I'm particularly enamored with Ste Chapelle. I heard a concert of Machaut's Mass there which still rings through my brain.
Aniket, thank you for that. :) I listened to the sound of "Emmanuel" on youtube, and I imagined being there, and feeling those vibrations go right through me. Jason, I will admit to feeling like I'm on a bit of a roll (Great. I just killed it by saying that, didn't I? ;)). I'm so glad you caught my intent with the grieving man. I do think he was removed from himself. So I wanted to make him all action and mission, until the realization of those actions finally let the grief wash over him. Thank you so much for what you said here. :) Cat, I always know I've achieved my aim when I get you tearing up! (that sounds a bit diabolical...but you know what I mean). And thank you for all your amazing comments. :) I did want to make the bellkeeper clinical and haughty. To make his concession seem all the more remarkable. And I almost picked Ste. Chapelle to write about. I found its intimacy and stained glass windows more soul stirring than Notre Dame. I will definitely write a story about it someday. That place is (almost) enough to make me religious. ;)
In your technique you have me asking the unanswered questions as I read along. No Sarah it is not a distraction; the questions were the music that carried me from line to line until the end which was as it should have been.
I love this murmur
I envy him for having the opportunity (and guts!) to make it happen. To actually have the bell ring. It is such a human need to mark the significant events-- to know that others acknowledge these events, too. Perhaps we need the acknowledgment of others in order to believe that something actually happened. Otherwise it is too easy to drown in denial. Or get lost in the usual activities of life moving on as usual.I also love that he knew he needed the sound of the bell to trigger the release of his emotions. Wow, Sarah. This one will stay with me, I believe.:)
Mark, at the risk of being a little corny...your comments are always music to me. Thank you, my friend. Deola, I appreciate your stopping by here. Thanks for the kind words, too. :) Aine, you captured my intention perfectly. He needed permission, in a sense, to just let go of the need to do something. And instead, to let the emotions wash over. As hard as that is. Thank you for all that you said! It's very gratifying to share those kinds of emotions and insights with you, and everyone here. :)
His grief is so exceedingly palpable Sarah - it touched me to the core!I can fully resonate with his desperation to share his mourning with the world.When we lose a loved one, don't we all want the world to come to a standstill for a few seconds?I'm very glad the chief sacristan displayed such compassion.You brought across so much in this vignette Sarah - I loved it. Not to mention the poem which touched me too.
Margaret, you're right. I do think we all want the world to just be still and mourn with us for a time. It can almost seem indecent for everyone to carry on, as if nothing had changed. Thank you so much, Margaret. I'm very gratified that this touched you as deeply as it did. It's always a pleasure to read your comments. :)
this is a beautiful moving story and so well written too, very well controlled
I agree with Jason: August has been good to you. I hope elsewhere, too.You write beautifully.
Crafty Green Poet, I really appreciate your warm words here. Thanks for stopping by. :) Steve, thank you. From you, that means a lot.And yeah, I think I'm already starting to miss August.
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