The Women of the Copper Country
Mary Doria Russell
Friday, March 18
10:00am - 11:30am
To learn more about this OLLI Reads event, click the book above.
OLLI Reads is privileged once again to be associated with the Michigan Humanities Council’s Great Michigan Read featuring Mary Doria Russell’s The Women of the Copper Country, a work of historical fiction about the 1913-14 copper miners’ strike in the U.P.
The main event for OLLI is a discussion of the novel by students of John Staunton, Associate Dean of Eastern Michigan University’s Honors College. Dr. Staunton will facilitate the discussion. The event is free and open to the public via Zoom on Friday March 18, 2022 at 10 a.m.
A number of supplemental programs will be offered by OLLI and by the Great Michigan Read partners: the Honors College of EMU and the Ypsilanti District Library.
OLLI’s first offering is a special poetry reading focusing on the work of well-known British and American poets who gave voice to the conditions of working men, women, and children that led to the union movement. The poetry reading will be via Zoom on Friday, March 4, at 7:00 p.m. on the Commons.
Although both the OLLI Reads discussion of The Women of the Copper Country and the poetry reading are free and open to the public, you must register on the OLLI website to receive the appropriate Zoom link.
As a count down to the OLLI Reads event and the poetry reading, we will publish one famous labor poem in the newsletter each week.
This week’s selection is by William Blake.
The Chimney Sweeper: When my mother died I was very young
When my mother died I was very young,
And my father sold me while yet my tongue
Could scarcely cry " 'weep! 'weep! 'weep! 'weep!"
So your chimneys I sweep & in soot I sleep.
There's little Tom Dacre, who cried when his head
That curled like a lamb's back, was shaved, so I said,
"Hush, Tom! never mind it, for when your head's bare,
You know that the soot cannot spoil your white hair."
And so he was quiet, & that very night,
As Tom was a-sleeping he had such a sight!
That thousands of sweepers, Dick, Joe, Ned, & Jack,
Were all of them locked up in coffins of black;
And by came an Angel who had a bright key,
And he opened the coffins & set them all free;
Then down a green plain, leaping, laughing they run,
And wash in a river and shine in the Sun.
Then naked & white, all their bags left behind,
They rise upon clouds, and sport in the wind.
And the Angel told Tom, if he'd be a good boy,
He'd have God for his father & never want joy.
And so Tom awoke; and we rose in the dark
And got with our bags & our brushes to work.
Though the morning was cold, Tom was happy & warm;
So if all do their duty, they need not fear harm.
We look forward to seeing you at both the poetry reading and the book discussion.