elegy n. 1. mournful poem 2. poem in elegiac couplets or stanzas 3. music, musical or lament for dead person
Written in prose, Jacqueline Woodson‘s Beneath a Meth Moon reads as smoothly as a poem and manages to work in Hurricane Katrina, loss and young love as subplots to addiction.
Laurel tells her story bit by bit, with flashbacks to the beautiful memories of childhood and later the painful vignettes of hurricanes and death and moving, and then forward to that first night under the glowing moon when meth became her personal moon, filling her with good feelings and pushing everything else away until she had nothing. Laurel says, “But Moses and Kaylee keep telling me that fifteen is just another beginning, like the poet with the two roads and his own choice about which one he’d be taking.” By the end of the book, we know which road Laurel’s taking, and it’s not the easy one.
(definition from Encarta World English Dictionary, St. Martin’s Press, 1999.)