The Story of Corn: Excerpt

“What is the corn? The floor, earth, grass, leaves, the bluebird on top of the stalk,  the evening and morning star, the man who tends it with his blood and the woman who grinds it with here sweat into meal, the lost time of the blue tortilla. ‘When the twelve Holy people came up to this world they made twelve paintings, each one his own, and they sang eleven songs, each one missing the Hogan song except Changing Woman, who remembered it and sang it. While they sang during the night corn grew.’ So sang the singers of Blessingway, who remembered the pollen words. So sang the singer of Walden Pond, who believed in the forest, and in the meadow, and in the night in which the corn grows. So sang the singer of the Oglala Sioux, Black Elk, remembering his vision quest: ‘The life of man is a circle from childhood to childhood, and so it is in everything where power moves.’ Rain comes down, corn grows up, the way up is the way down, when the circle is complete. For a moment I completed my circle, where the way forward was the way back, where Coatlicue and the Couac monster were at my center as well as the Blessed Saints. ‘The old myths, the old gods, the old heroes have never died,’ said Stanley Kunitz, the singer of ‘Seedcorn and  Windfall.’ ‘They are only sleeping at the bottom of our minds, waiting for our call.’ Waiting for the dancing to begin.'”

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