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  • Writer's pictureRobert Adams

Huckleberry Finn Again

Updated: Aug 22, 2023




IT’S BEEN 60 YEARS SINCE I last read Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. I remember small bits about the book, but it is turning out to be just like starting anew.


I’m 175 pages into the adventure and am struggling with it. His arrangement and dialects have thrown me a curve. I resolved this morning that I would devote an hour more to it with coffee at my side and make the decision to finish it or move on to another book.


My library copy has an introductory section about Samuel Clemens (aka. Mark Twain) that states, Clemens remembered his childhood vividly and with great pleasure. “I can call back the solemn twilight and mystery of the deep woods, the earthy smells, the faint odors of the wildflowers, the sheen of rain-washed foliage… I can call it all and make it as real as it ever was, and as blessed,” he wrote in his autobiography.


I was taken by these words and his reflection. A few of my own essays and poems are based on sights and sounds and vivid recall. I can remember it all – I seem blessed with almost a photographic memory of certain scenes or events. My challenge is selecting descriptive words for my readers to get a sense of it all.


I placed a poem I did from a flashback in my childhood when I recalled walking along the sidewalk from my house to visit my favorite drugstore for an ice cream treat. Wesley’s was on the northwest corner of Pearce and 14 Mile Road in Birmingham.


Going Home (Page 174)


The place I once called home

Today exists only in my memory

My town has changed in so many ways

Buildings and stores and so much more.


I recall from my childhood so many things

Fields resplendent in flowers and tall grass

Fragrances from violets and lilacs on my walk

I avoided cracks to save my mother’s back.


This all came to me this day in late May

Clear scenes from so many years ago

And smiles on my parents’ faces fixed in time

Accepting they are gone to help this rhyme.


Robert Adams, Sr.


Another bit of writing that has a Twainian rapture to it and is one of my favorite paragraphs from ten years ago. I was on the Garden Peninsula in the Upper Peninsula in early August staying at a friend’s cottage. It too is in my new book (Page 164).

As I step outside, I am invigorated by my surroundings. The air is full of earthy aromas that are so telling of the Upper Peninsula. I notice that the morning sunlight has penetrated the collection of pines and cedars that lay just to the north of the cottage. Hundreds of forest ferns gather around the trunks appearing as if they ingested the sunlight. All of nature’s vegetation is glistening, softened by a gentle morning mist. As I walk out to the beach, I become aware of the actual sunlight that greets me and I’m aware that my eyelids are squinting as they adjust to the brightness coming from the east. I am wrapped in serenity knowing this place on our planet is such a gift. I find my lips moving, expressing such immense gratitude for being here.


Perhaps this is why so many of our great writers suggest that reading is the greatest teacher of the craft.


I suppose I should continue with Huckleberry Finn. Do I dare try The Catcher in the Rye?


By the way, I finished the book and can not recommend it.





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