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By Paul Engle

The legacy of poet Paul Engle, who died in 1991, comprises the foreign Writing software on the collage of Iowa, which he helped present in 1967, and the memoir A fortunate American youth. Engle grew up in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in the course of the Nineteen Twenties on a hardscrabble farm the place his family members struggled to make ends meet. no longer inevitably the traditional education floor for a poet and educator, yet Engle unearths in his adolescence the uncooked fabrics that formed him not just as a poet yet as anyone in addition.

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At ten I had equal excitement from pulling a long carrot out of the ground and from picking a bouquet of flowers for Mother to give a friend. I had a little business supplying flowers for parties around the neighborhooda quarter for as many flowers as they wanted. Mother liked all colors. I raised wax beans as well as green beans because they had a delicate yellow color, turnips because they were white and purple as well as strong-tasting, red tomatoes but also small yellow tomatoes, golden bantam sweet corn but also "Country Gentleman" because it was white and came late.

I helped in my feeble way, sometimes leaving a stem on the cherry, sometimes popping an especially ripe, red one in my mouth. Perhaps it was the acid in the cherries, or the pressure of pitting, but by the end of the morning her thumb began to hurt. Then Mother noticed that the bandage had turned red. She took it off and found that it had been bleeding badly, dripping blood under the bandage and into the cherries. "Paul, we've got to finish," she said quietly, put the bandage back on, and did not stop until the job was done.

In honor of Grandfather Reinheimer and the uniform he wore in his Civil War photohe was a handsome man with a fine military figure, a black beard, eyes like bulletsMother had bought me a little child's cavalry uniform. The day the chicken coop was broken up I put on my suit, complete with small sword, and ran around battling the mice that had nested underneath, chasing them with great courage and hacking at them with my dull sword. There is a photograph of me holding my sword the way Grandpa held his and trying to look military and tough.

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