Classics Contest Winners
In the last Perennial
Classics competition, entrants were asked to tell us in
250 words or less, about their favorite Classic book. Here,
then, are the winners and what they wrote.
This time you
won't get sucked in again. You'll just read one quick chapter
and then get back to real life. You think, "I haven't read
this since last summer. I'll just look over the first chapter.
That was the best part," so you slide your shoes off and
turn towards the light…
The words flow
by, smoothly, like words you might hear anywhere except
the story is too sad and you want to stop reading. One more
chapter. Then you'll stop.
Poetry can be
page after page of profane reality. These voices are not
like voices you will ever hear but they saturate your memory,
like the scent of cinnamon and cooked pork in the shabby
hallways where Delores and Cesar are haunted by love. Their
music is not like any you will ever play, but the pitiful
Mambo King and all the pretty young voices he loves, hardly
knowing, glitter and laugh until the late night lamp light
makes you squeeze your tired eye lids closed. One more page.
is stiff where you have leaned against the chair too long.
Traffic outside begins again. The smoky Tropicana nightclub
is empty. Nestor and Cesar are walking away from you, jauntily,
filled with all their futile, ancient machismo. The Mambo
Kings Play Songs of Love one more time and you've listened
again, all through the night hours, wandered through the
smoky bars and crowded apartments with them once again.
For creatures who sing songs of love, they are very cruel.
[Read all six winning entries