“I took one word with me to Haystack. Earlier, in July, I sat cross-legged on the floor, in one of those great dim library reference rooms, surrounded by etymological dictionaries, digging around in the pastest past with something like a shovel. The word was make, and in honor of Haystack, I traced it back through Old English, Old Swedish, Old Frisian and German to the bare bright Indo-European mag, bare as these buried things go, which is to say, to all manner of underground riches. I found – mud! The first make meant to knead, not in the service of bread as one might expect, but for honest-to-god earth mixed with water and formed by the hand, slabs of it, or bricks, for the earliest shelter where humans slept and ate and thought their thoughts. The tiny print was calm about it, matter-of-fact.”
~ from Single and Plural, by poet Marianne Boruch, 8th Monograph in the Haystack series
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