Quiet as its kept, there were no marigolds in the fall of 1941. We thought, at the time, that it was because Pecola was having her father's baby that the marigolds did not grow. A little examination and much less melancholy would have proved to us that our seeds were not the only ones that did not sprout; nobody's did. Not even the gardens fronting the lake showed marigolds that year. But so deeply concerned were we with the health and safe delivery of Pecola's baby we could think of nothing but our own magic: if we planted the seeds, and said the right words over them, they would blossom, and everything would be all right.
It was a long time before my sister and I admitted to ourselves that no green was going to spring from our seeds. Once we knew, our guilt was relieved only by fights and mutual accusations about who was to blame. For years, I thought my sister was right: it was my fault. I had planted them too far down in the earth. It never occurred to either of us that the earth itself might have been unyielding. We had dropped our seeds in our own little plot of black dirt just as Pecola's father had dropped his seeds in his own plot of black dirt. Our innocence and faith were no more productive than his lust and or despair. What is clear now is that of all of that hope, fear, lust, love, and grief, nothing remains but Pecola and that unyielding earth. Cholly Breedlove is dead; our innocence, too. The seeds shriveled and died; her baby, too.
There really is nothing more to say - except why. But since why is difficult to handle, one must take refuge in how.
by Toni Morrison
The prologue, all in italics, has completely captivated me. Banned Book Week is September 24 - October 1. The Bluest Eye is listed at number 15 on ALA's Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books. I hope to post a review sometime next week. How will you mark Banned Book Week?
Tuesday Intros is hosted by Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea.