Monday, August 04, 2014

"Written in longhand on a kitchen table . . "

This morning's sun on the meadow, Emmet County, Michigan.

"My house completed, and tried and not found wanting by a first Cape Cod year, I went there to spend a fortnight in September. The fortnight ending, I lingered on, and as the year lengthened into autumn, the beauty and mystery of this earth and outer sea so possessed and held me that I could not go. The world today is sick to its thin blood for lack of elemental things, for fire before the hands, for water welling from the earth, for air, for the dear earth itself underfoot. In my world of beach and dune these elemental presences lived and had their being, and under their arch there moved an incomparable pageant of nature and the year."

Henry Beston, in a foreword to The Outermost House, 1928, 1956.

Ever since Walden (and perhaps even before) there has been a tradition in American literature of an account of someone spending time in a natural setting and writing about it, think John Muir, Aldo Leopold, Cathy Johnson and countless others. I am a sucker for this kind of book and have just discovered this one, which I hadn't known about. I am spending time in the house reading about Cape Cod and the sea, while I could be tromping around in the meadow seen above.

I hope you are having a great summer. I am. More poems tomorrow!

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