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SIMONE WEIL AT LE PUY / Laurie Sheck for Jim Peck Walking to work she watches them: the unemployed; stone cutter, coal miner, the large idle hands she can't stop seeing even as she steps into the schoolyard, her girls well-scrubbed and eager, opening their books beneath the trees. Such a light, mathematical species, practicing their Greek with great precision, the sunlight come to rest on their hair as if to insist on the ease of loveliness. They protect their distracted teacher, she has put her blouse on backwards! More and more she wonders if tenderness towards the world eventually turns to bitterness when you must watch the suffering of others increase, if the mind grows dark as the mines where coal is chipped and gathered while those who wield it grow weak. And yet the earth itself continues in its valor: the hills receiving the soft light of dawn, the grapeharvest's tangled vines and swollen fruit. . . . That night in her room she writes to a prisoner, promises to send him some food. Do you still miss the birds of the Pyrenees? I don't know whether silence is not more beautiful than all the songsl The Missouri Review ยท 17 ...


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