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My People

30 November 2014

My people were brought from the great plains, and the dark, green jungles. On the long chained journeys to the coast they died by the thousands. Only the strong survived. Chained in the foul ships that brought them here they died again. Only the hardy Negroes with will could live. Beaten and chained and sold on the block, the least of these strong ones perished again. And finally through the bitter years the strongest of my people are still here. Their sons and daughters, their grandsons and great grandsons.

Carson McCullers, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter

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9 Comments to “My People”

  1. Oh, man, Carson McCullers. Brought me to tears in high school with The Member of the Wedding.

  2. I’m new here so I was just looking around. I noticed this book excerpt. I’m not sure what the etiquette is here but I would like to make a constructive suggestion for you to consider.

    The line “Only the hardy Negroes with will could live”
    Bothers me. I kept reading it over and over again. It tripped up my mind and tongue. In other words I had to read it five times before I understood what you were trying to say. The crutch of the problem is “with will” and “with will could.” The two W words do not clarify the intent of the word will (noun or verb). So “with will needs a break in between like “with a will” or ” with a hard will”, ” with an obstinate will” An Adjective helps define the will as a noun not the verb. Just trying to help

    writerconsidered

    • I think you should totally write Carson McCullers and tell her that she should edit that paragraph. Right after that, please let the goats pass over your bridge in peace.

    • Google the author’s name, she’s long passed. The site’s owner, PG, occasionally posts quotes he likes between news articles and blog excerpts.

      • So, my reference to trolls with the goats and the bridge was too subtle, then?

        • I merely choose to believe in humanity for a few minutes each week.

          Hours of “your mom” comments in WoTanks each day prompts a need to believe someone out there is merely misguided and not deliberately a troll.

  3. “With will could” reads fine to me. Will is used as a noun, and that cannot be mistaken.

  4. ON-ly the HAR-dy NE-groes with WILL could LIVE.

    It’s got nice scansion.

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