{Free eBook} Two Wings to Veil My FaceAuthor Leon Forrest – Sharkmotorcyclehelmets.co.uk

Masterful. My personal opinion but this book was sub par The best part is the introduction by In the boy s imagination all of this was tied up with the beginning time on both sides of his family, like two wings of a strange angel struggling to risePhew The opening chapters of this book are up there with the best passages from the first two books of the trilogy They are based on two moments in Nathaniel Witherspoon s young life when he was seven and his grandfather has passed away and his grandmother, Sweetie Reed, refuses to go the funeral at this time she tells Nathaniel she ll explain it to him when he came of age the other moment is 14 years later, Nathaniel is now of age , and with trepidation he is visiting Sweetie to hear her story Both moments intertwine during these opening chapters, and I could really just quote every sentence from them, because they re all so damn good Forrest has moved away from some of theexperimental of his prose techniques in this bookon that in a moment but his language remains poetic, focused, and lovely at all times If anything, he s improved as a writer in this third volume Grandfather Witherspoon s six foot, six and a half inch form had carried 250 pounds before the boy s knowledge of the grand old gentleman s weighty presence in the world, before words existed for the boy but this was passed down through retelling Awesome words spoke of the many dimensions of the outer man, as the conversation drifted into the stature of the inner man but in the last months, his head bowed and back stooped, in the autumn, and then taken to the University Hospital in October, his speech slurred and the weight scalded down to less than one hundred pounds ninety nine, ninety eight, ninety seventhe way a snow melts away, the boy wept He threw away the magazine advertisement that boasted of making a man of you, if you weighed only ninety seven pounds That was for the foolish older guys, he thought I don t need to become Mr Atlas he was my Atlas when I sat upon his shoulders, I was upon an axisBesides, hadn t he heard from his own father s lips the words of the Bard Golden lads and girls all must as chimney sweepers, come to dust The brain itself, he had heard, weighed less than the body of most infants nothan three pounds But there were brains and then there were brains Most people don t use 75 percent of the light of the body, which is the brain and the golden radiance of the soul, his father said This made the boy think the brains of most people are dusty, long before their death and that s what being dimwitted must mean But did you go on living after the wheels in your brain stopped clicking Or when your heart stopped beating Grandfather Witherspoon s brain had gone to sleep, like so many furious bees, and brilliant butterflies, suddenly gassed in a net yet his heart went on beating for a long time, after that sleeping away of the brain Now, even where Forrest s writing had improved, I found the initial sections directly narrated by Sweetie to be stylistically poetically weaker than all the other sections This is mostly due to their fairly straightforward nature by anchoring the narrative to Sweetie the poetry of the prose is restrained That said, the sections themselves are still incredible, in large part due to the complexity and nuance of the sociological ideas behind the narrative exploring the transition form slavery to freedom, and the deft manner in which Forrest navigates the labyrinthine social structure of the south in the waning years of slavery and its aftermath It is affecting, arresting, and illuminating.Those sections really only take up a third of the book or so there is onesection later in the book but it finds Forrest in full poetic form the majority of the rest of the book is either taken up with JW s funeral and long eulogies giving way to visions and dreams and dreams within dreams or the present i.e when Nathaniel is 21 These present day sections continue to center around Nathaniel s trepidation and desire around the uncovering of his family history, to unveil that which is veiled fearful and anxious for the masks of the past to be removed Great Momma Sweetie, I know that June 5 is not your juneteenth, but since you ve spelled out everything to me in order that I might get some order over my disorder In order, son, that I might get some peace of mind, and that s very different from peace of soul, church folks haven t understood that part of the good news yet They still can t deal with Nicodemus, who was about as close to us as anything in the New Testament I can think of in our modern day fineryYet they allow for his presence at the tomb I feel that I m somewhere between Nicodemus and Hamlet, Fred Douglass and Lincoln, a rock and a hard place and Joe Williams singing Every Day I Have the Blues, all the time, Great Momma Sweetie That day, June 5, Nathaniel, is a burden still fierce for me to center down upon Great Momma Sweetie, it s not for the story alone that I need to fill out that date and what it meant to get the story right But to get right what is missing from you and me Between us, too For myself and my own troubled mind within I came upon those dates in your Bible long ago And now I want to know what is hidden from me and what you have hidden maybe from yourself, as unspeakable in the long agoespecially when you confessed everything else I will say little else but this Those last 45 pagesNo,than that, those closing few pagesYou, dear reader, are in for a treat Forrest is masterful, and in those closing pages he is in full command of that mastery Ephemera A couple of quick ending notes about the title of the book that I came across and liked The book is based on an old gospel song quoted in the book Hurry, Angel, hurry Hurry down to the pool.I want you to trouble the waters this morning.To bathe my weary soul.Angel got two wings to hide me awayTwo wings to fly me away.I would not be a hypocriteI tell you the reason why Cause death might overtake meAnd I wouldn t be ready to die.Angel got two wings to veil my face.Angel got two wings to fly me away. here s a performance of the song it s slightly different than the one Forrest is quoting, but you get the idea, and I can t find a performance of his source text Which is, itself, based on a scripture Isiah 6 2 Above him were seraphim, each with six wings With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. Here s an excerpt of a conversation with Leon Forrest about the titles of his books Two Wings to Veil My Face , I forget now what was the original title I think one was To Trouble the Waters This Morning Toni Morrison didn t care for it that much and I didn t either She said, you keep using this song in there, Angels got two wings to hide my face Angels got two wings to fly me away She suggested Two Wings to Hide My Face, one of the refrains from this song I changed it and took the other one, Two Wings to Veil My Face , because the veil seemed to be muchpoetic, muchelusive, muchsuggestive of mask wearing and so on End Ephemera I m the only person to ever review this Whatcha know about that I m still reading it but stopped midway through It s very dense Those of you who know me well, know that I WILL finish it. Leon Forrest, Author Of The Powerfully Praised Novels There Is A Tree More Ancient Than Eden And The Bloodworth Orphans, Now Gives Us Perhaps His Finest Achievement A Work Of Fiction About A Strong Black Woman, Sweetie Reed, Domineering And Hellbent On Survival, And About The Perils Of Her Hubris, Pride She Needs To Overcome Painful Memories With DignitIn Two Wings To Veil My Face A Tale Of Horror, Wonder, Woe Grudge Holding Ninety One Year Old Sweetie Reed Recounts Her Passage From Slavery To Freedom To Her Vain Twenty One Year Old Grandson, Nathaniel Witherspoon Throughout Her Life She Has Had To Cope With Psychological Devastation Caused By Two Relationships One With Her Philandering Husband, Jericho Witherspoon, A Noted Judge Who Had Purchased Her From Her Grandfather And The Other One With Her Father, Who Had Spurned Her As A ChildForced To Confront Herself In The Darkness Of Her Final Years, And Increasingly Dependent On Her Grandson, Sweetie Reed Faces The Choice Of Abandoning Her Self Righteousness Or Else Perishing Both Spiritually And Intellectually