This is how the world ends:
First, all beauty will die –
All that is green and pure, all
That inspires, elevates; all talent, for beauty,
Like yours, child, is a great talent.
Then all courage will die – all hope,
All that keep the fires burning,
All that won’t be bowed, cowed – like
You, child, who smiled and smiled to the end.
After beauty, and laughter, and courage,
“I was a little boy playing around my father’s hut. How old would I have been at that time? I cannot remember exactly. I must still have been very young: five, maybe six years old. My mother was in the workshop with my father, and I could just hear their familiar voices above the noise of the anvil and the conversation of the customers.”
So begins Laye’s enchanted tale of growing up in the…