Copyright 1982 Circles on the Water: Selected Poems of Marge Piercy Alfred A. Knopf
2] Graceland Cemetery, in the Lakeview district at Irving Park Road and Clark St., opened for business in 1860. Back to Line
4] The concrete-block grave of George Pullman, the wealthy railroad man, was devised to protect it against desecration by his own workers, whose strike against his company was put down by federal soldiery despite protests from the Governor of Illinois. See Matt Hucke's "Graveyards of Chicago": "The coffin was covered in tar paper and asphalt, and enclosed in the center of a room-sized block of concrete, reinforced with railroad ties." Back to Line
6] An allusion to Potter Palmer (1826-1902), who opened the historic and still operating Palmer House Hotel on the corner of State and Monroe Streets. See Matt Hucke's "Graveyards of Chicago" for the tomb erected for him and his wife Bertha Honoré Palmer (1850-1918). Back to Line
10] The Getty monument was built by businessman Henry Harrison Getty for his wife, Carrie Eliza Getty, in 1890. See Matt Hucke's "Graveyards of Chicago" site. Back to Line
16] Louis Henri Sullivan (1856-1924). See Piercy's answer to a question posed by Ira Wood:
WOOD. Who was Louis Sullivan and why did you start the book at his grave?
PIERCY. Louis Sullivan was a very great architect who never got to build most of the buildings that were in him, as I feared I wouldn't get to create in public visible form my art. He was defeated by the beginning of the American vision of empire that led us into foreign conquest and made us create bank buildings as temples to money, that Roman design that marked our cities. Right after college I felt very consciously Midwestern and I was searching for populist roots, Midwestern heroes, and some kind of history that led to me. The Chicago anarchists, Emma Goldman, Eugene Debs. Sullivan's books are interesting too, by the way.
("A Conversation between Ira Wood and Marge Piercy," in Parti-Colored Blocks for a Quilt [Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1982]: 307.) See Piercy's Web site. Back to Line
53] On July 23, 1967, riots began in Detroit that lasted five days and led to the burning of over one thousand businesses, most of them owned by black Americans, and to many deaths. There were also serious riots that year in Newark, New Jersey, and of course this was the year of the infamous "Mississippi Burning" trial for the murder of three civil rights workers in 1964. Back to Line