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“Onion Tears,” by Marlene Mattila Stoehr

August 11, 2010

This one chops the onion for the hash.

Minnesota turned 150 a couple of Mays ago.  To recognize the sesquicentennial, the League of Minnesota Poets published County Lines (Loonfeather Press, 2008), a collection of poems from every one of Minnesota’s 87 counties.  “Onion Tears” represents Wadena County. (Fri AM Update: I have a couple of copies of County Lines for sale myself if you’re interested. Click here for more info.)

I have a soft spot for this book.  Three of my poems are in there, but even better, when I sent letters inviting every poet in the book down to Worthington for a reading in the fall–130 of them!  What would I have done if they’d all come? Found a sponsor and called it a festival, probably15 accepted.  BenLee’s Cafe hummed with Minnesotans reading about Minnesota.  It was a good night. Ms. Stoehr read this poem. I choked up then, and no kidding, I better go chop some onions now.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. August 11, 2010 8:18 pm

    Mmm Hmm. Good words.
    There is nothing quite like chopping an onion for priming or hiding tears that come from
    “emotions that run too deep to be expressed in words”.
    I think the book, “County Lines”, is aptly named. Nice.
    I like your spirit of getting a festival together if 130 poets had come to read!

    Whenever I hear or see the word, “sesquincentennial” I’m reminded of a film by David Byrne called “True Stories”. Have you seen it? It may not be truly accurate, but it’s fun. Here’s a trailer:

  2. August 11, 2010 8:27 pm

    Wow! I didn’t know the video would embed! Of course you can edit as you see fit!


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