Monday, February 9, 2009

Anne Morrison Welsh

Tonight I am going to Quail Ridge Books to hear author Anne Morrison Welsh talk about her book, Held In the Light, the story of her husband's death and how she and her family dealt with the aftermath.

Norman Morrison set himself on fire on the steps of the Pentagon in protest of the Vietnam War. To some of us this may seem a futile gesture, but to the Vietnamese, who are accustomed to this type of protest statement, Morrison became a hero.

The book is full of beautiful poetry written by Vietnamese poets and Anne's own family. Her writing is lyrical and the book, though small, is a beautiful testament to Norman and to his family.

My favorite poem in the book is written by a North Vietnamese poet laureate, To Huu. It is entitled, "Emily, My Child" and is dedicated to Norman Morrison. Morrison took his daughter, then a toddler, with him to Washington the day of his death. No one knows what his intentions were with regard to her or how he actually saved her. I read the poem to my husband on the way back from the beach yesterday and was moved to tears.

I hope you will go to Quail Ridge Books and order a copy of Anne's book.


Mojo said...

If I'd read this post earlier I might have joined in the fun. Quail Ridge Books is only a mile or so from my house.

I recognize the importance of the gesture and all, but what a positively gruesome way to go!

mamie said...

Mojo, the program was really thought-provoking. She was a very impressive person with a heart for causes. I was surprised at how often she was brought to tears tonight by events of twenty-five years ago.