May Day May Day

1 May

Mayday, the call for distress, probably came from the french “m’aidez” (pronounced meyday).

May Day is a traditional Spring holiday in many places and International Workers’ Day. Here’s my favorite socialist singer, illy Bragg, singing the Internationale

Reality hasn’t quite worked out the way the song hoped, but isn’t that true for so many songs.

To make this bookish, and also a last hurrah for poetry month, let me tell you about Margarita Engle’s newest novel in verse.

Unknown

Silver People tells the story of the building of the Panama Canal. Told from several points of view, the two main characters of Mateo and Henry represent how each class is treated differently,  while local girl Anita watches her beloved forest being bulldozed and destroyed. For only a few coins a day, teenagers Mateo and Henry endure homesickness, backbreaking labour, ferocious heat, landslides, and disease to dig through the mountain with little more than a shovel. Thousands around them lose their lives, while displaced souls like local herb girl Anita, and the endangered rainforest itself, do what they can to survive. 

Another really worthwhile read from Margarita Engle. I’m reading this while I proctor state testing.

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