The Halloween Tree

A short entry for a short book: The Halloween Tree, like many of Ray Bradbury’s books, perhaps, is something you read for the writing, not the plot.

It’s good for illuminating by electric example the otherwise potentially dusty fact that language can form the contours of experience; that’s why there is a distinction between poetry and prose. Dare to imagine a group of boys so raw with excitement for Halloween that when one must stay home, because he is sick (perhaps dying), but then joins them after all (but perhaps it’s just his spirit, which is the spirit of all boys) their excitement explodes upward, upward to the moon, where their excitement carves the formerly scholarly man-in-the-moon into a jack-o-lantern, alive with deathly cackling.

That doesn’t happen, actually, in the book. But there is a kite of impossible size, made of old circus posters, whose ribbon tail is eight boys (or maybe nine) each hanging onto another’s ankles, and which crosses continents and centuries. Why not?

Lightly edited 13 Feb 2017.

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