A poem for Caroline Rand Herron (1941 - 2016), by Dorian Brooks.
This sonnet was written soon after Caroline’s unexpected death from pneumonia, by Dorian Brooks, poet and activist for women’s and American Indian rights, and a Radcliffe College classmate of Caroline’s and mine. Caroline was a distinguished editor and writer and later, a dedicated advocate for affordable housing. Among many other positions in the area of the humanities, Caroline served as staff editor of the New York Times Book Review (1993-2005) and worked for The Partisan Review from 1963-78, including as contributing and executive editor. Following her retirement she led the Highland Affordable Housing organization in Truro, Massachusetts; her energy and skills resulted in providing new homes for five families. A more complete obituary can be read here. I remember Caroline as brilliant and far more worldly than I, and I thank Dorian for helping us mourn this all too early death.
Dorian Brooks has published numerous books of poetry, among them The Wren’s Cry (2009). “Sign,” her poem for Susan Bachrach, may be found on this website. Dorian’s biographical article on the Mohegan anthropologist and medicine woman Gladys Tantaquidgeon may be found at Fembio.org: Gladys Tantaquidgeon. She has also contributed a biography of anti-nuclear activist and Marshall Islander Darlene Keju for Fembio.
1941 – 2016
writer, editor, community activist
"The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.”
—the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam
When a keen intellect goes hand in hand
with kindness, sensitivity and wit,
we’re blessed. As we have been by Caroline Rand
Herron. The moving finger, having writ
does indeed move on; but who would ever
cancel any of her good life, no more
to nourish and enrich our own. Never
did cold winds hurl such sorrow on Truro’s shore
as when her eyes went still. She could be
both serious and whimsical; a note
she sent during the holidays to me –
though she was ill – was full of cheer. She wrote,
“Pets to your kitty. Have good hols. Bests.”
Thank you, Caroline, for your life. Good rest.
—© 2016 Dorian Brooks
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