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Bewildering Stories

Darby Mitchell writes about...

“The Gift of Apples”

In a note to Darby Mitchell, I mentioned that “The Gift of Apples” was “mysterious.”

Good morning, Don,

It is a mysterious poem, isn’t it! I understand it as a re-interpretation of the Garden of Eden story — not that Eve unleashed all the horrors of hell onto our race, but at that time fecundity began here — though perhaps that’s curse enough.

As with all of my stuff, the incident actually occurred — a mysterious children’s game perhaps.

I think an additional point on that is the fact that I was there, I experienced it, felt the dimension of it when I must have been all of five years old. But as far as I know, no one else who was there has remembered it or written about it.

For that reason, but without trying to make myself the center of the universe, it seems eerily as if the performance was put on for my mind alone. I knew what it was, I appreciated it, It was I who was trying to obey the law of gravity — humorously trying not to fly with the elation of my understanding. Odd!

Or perhaps these things go on all the time, coming from the collective unconscious of children who are no doubt more open to that than adults are — and as e.e.cummings says, “down we forgot as up we grew.”

The thing was living allegory.

On the other hand, perhaps all the observers — as well as the players — have been tossing in their sleep ever since.

Thank you,


Copyright © 2007 by Darby Mitchell

Thank you for the background, Darby! As we always say, “There is no story so truly bewildering as reality.”

I’m sure your poem will be interpreted in other ways, as well. Your account doesn’t prevent that, but you do add a colorful human dimension to the poem.


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