A 19th-Century Friend

(A Narrative in Verse)

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"A 19th-Century Friend" is a book written by Bruce Craig in the form of a narrative, using a classical sonnet form. An excerpt of three verses from the third chapter is given below:

The history of a family's growth
Spawns tales which constantly begin;
Each generation takes its oath,
Then turns to seek its form of sin.
Of Lev's own house I've said no word,
Although from them could much be heard;
His comely maid still waits in turn
For me to deal with her concern;
Of Feldtman I have not yet spoken,
On whom, as unexpected friend,
Lev came his fortunes to depend;
Or other bonds both made and broken.
On all these things I'd laid my eyes,
Impatient to soliloquize.

But from my audience in wait
Came rumblings of a vague dissent;
This interest in my forebear's fate
He saw as pointless ornament.
At times, as I my ramblings spun,
I felt myself again as one.
The family details that I chose
Seem much inclined his eyes to close,
So much, in fact, that as time passed
My part assumed a different role,
In which I exercised control
In ways that I could now forecast.
The greatest curiosity
Was what he found of use in me.

All music in its varied parts
Seemed not to interest him at all;
All mention of the gentler arts
Would boredom on his part recall;
His interest seemed most at its peak
When I from Lev's surrounds would speak.
Perhaps the thread he strove to find
Lay pocketed within Lev's mind.
The thrust towards which my history lay
Had been to trace Lev's emigration,
But as we plodded toward that station,
His interest seemed to turned away.
The commonality we found
Seemed firmly fixed on Russian ground.

Copies of this book may obtained for $10. each (including postage and handling) by using the Order Form. A billing invoice will be sent along with the book. ISBN is 0-966-56140-6. LCCN is 98-090570.

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