Party Time: Alice Munro Won the Nobel Prize!

Nancy Flynn Apostrophe Blog Archive, Awards

The Apostrophe Blog

Musings on Writing and Life.

So I was ecstatic when one of my favorite authors of forever won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2013. So I bought a cake from the legendary Helen Bernhard’s of Portland, Oregon. And, after that, wrote a poem. Because who does not love Alice’s stories and chocolate cake as well?

I recently re-read two volumes of Munro’s collected short stories, A Wilderness Station and Family Furnishings—pretty much a complete survey of her beyond astonishing body of work—and yep, the marvel that Alice is survives and transcends. My poetry ditty cannot do her genius justice…

Poem Baking and Basking in the Afterglow of Alice Munro Winning the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature

First things, of course, first—

Red velvet, a cake.

With double chocolate, iced.

Alice M. wins in red wiggling across.

We must have cake, we must admire

before we cut

because still

I wait for my bolt of award-winning wise to strike.

Decade upon decade—past.

The running iron fences spiked as spears all that remain,

mark a grounds once church, once penny-candy store.

Lost the grip, no leavening-up loaves once fish

only homilies and pulpits and the pew

where a bony girl—did I ever willingly


And here it is

another night when volition won’t

let me leave the house.

Where there’s hibiscus on a coaster

below the drink, the secrets

wizened rather than winking,

blinking to a nod.

No more joy, no heart’s desire

to seep, to supper out.

Comes then remembering

Rickett’s Glen where I’d hike

to fall after fall alive then

alive! and making melodrama

where I’d landed,

so determined to shed.

Traded in for this now of

hang the holiday baubles & make a wish

for the cabbie to let me off uptown.

Welcome to the Celebrity Club!

Featuring Roy Eldridge with Miss Anita O’Day!

Home to the malcontents desperate to toss

every woe into our smoky, addled sea.

To see maybe even seize

a jazz band’s sea-foam wake.

You don’t want to be

one mere passerby

trailing behind…

One early-risen day,

there is a latte, skim-milk foam

in the shape of a Western red cedar frond.

Manhole steppingstones are a walk

to Gramercy then Madison Square parks.

A High Line above the Chelsea heaps.

Emergency means a five-alarm,

means a fire truck along a planting

of frostbitten stems, clipped

and a face on one or the other

of a verge. This too, too much

in the way it adds up to naught

did as long ago as the aughts

when forever I thought

it all ought to be


Unless we (increasingly likely) devastate it all,

nearly everyone alive now? Dead

            in one hundred years.

I am but

one sinful

one simple

one story

one teardrop and an ache.

I listen to the music of the long-dead

boys and girls. I open the oven,

spread the 400 degrees. One window

to the chilly November, cracked.

To a day of the meals and the chores,

the picking-up of objects, the putting of them


But wait—

Alice M. wins is in red

letters wiggling across.

We must have cake.

We must admire before we cut.

Nancy Flynn
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