Review: SWEET MARJORAM: Notes & Essays by DeWitt Henry

SWEET MARJORAM: Notes & Essays

By DeWitt Henry
MadHat Press, Plume Editions, 2018

 

Transparency is the word that kept ringing in my head as I read through this book’s eclectic compilation of life and its anticipations, in chapters with titles such as: On Dreams, On Silence, On Blood, On Weather, On Dignity, On Courage, On Magic and many more. While reading, I began picturing the traditional anatomical rendering of a cow (that image appeared to me before I came upon the chapter titled On Meat)!  To this reader, the book’s internal parts chunked into map-like borders, much the same as the various cuts of beef in the drawings: those most prime and tender, others for less discerning dining, the end parts used for scrap.  Each new chapter examines and illuminates some facet of the life experience, and Henry’s highly polished lens makes him a scrupulous observer.  A chapter that I found particularly compelling is titled ‘On Time.’  It felt dangerous, as it pushed at my own personal worries regarding time and the limits of time.  Henry writes: “We marry. Our children are born. I find a livelihood and mission. I mount the bungee scaffold and leap…  A chapter is finished, a book. Life’s conditions alter. Rewards. Disappointments. A death. A loss. An accident or health problem. Vicissitudes.”…

SWEET MARJORAM is brilliantly written, gently unfolding its claims and suppositions.

 

Susan Tepper is an award-winning author with seven published books of fiction and poetry. Her recent title ‘Monte Carlo Days & Nights’ (Rain Mountain Press, NYC) is a novella set in the south of France.

 

 

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