A Few Notes on Marble

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September 23, 2020 by The Citron Review

by Jennifer Stewart Miller


After improvements in transportation made it easier to cart the stone from distant quarries, marble headstones became popular in 19th C. New England and beyond. While costly, white marble is particularly elegant, and soft enough to be intricately carved. It’s a metamorphic rock—formed when great heat and pressure crush buried limestone for an unfathomable time. Marble is mostly calcium carbonate—as are pearls and Tums. Some marble is even ground up to make Tums. Acid rain is a problem, as marble headstones try to neutralize the acid as if they were giant antacid tablets—dissolving themselves in the process. Inscriptions on marble can be as difficult to read as the minds of those buried under them.


Jennifer Stewart Miller’s manuscript Thief is the winner of the 2020 Grayson Books Poetry Prize. She is also the author of A Fox Appears: a biography of a boy in haiku (2015) and a chapbook, The Strangers Burial Ground (Seven Kitchens Press 2020). Recent work has appeared in Aquifer: The Florida Review Online, DIALOGIST, RHINO, Sugar House Review, and elsewhere. Her poems have received Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominations and been featured on Verse Daily.


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