A Dialogue With ThoreauAuthor: Michael Pacey
Publisher: Pottersfield Press
The book is in the form of a dialogue between Thoreau and Pacey; each poem begins with an epigraph in the form of a quotation from Thoreau’s Journal – the particular passage (or sometimes passages) which inspired Pacey to write the poem that follows. Some of the pieces are based on his experiences, but re-shaped, expanded and altered; some are wholly imaginary responses to reading the entries in the Journal. There continues to be a great deal of interest in Thoreau these days, and this immersion into his vast diary provides a contemporary poet’s insight into the original work.
The poems use Thoreau’s entries as a springboard to the imagination with titles like “Suit of Invisibility,” “Rough and Smooth,” “Journal,” “Haycock,” “Rivers,” “Walking,” “Night Walks” and “Wild Apples.” Pacey also focuses on Thoreau’s daily activities: walking, harvesting the wild for apples in abandoned apple orchards, studying the creatures he sees in the woods, visiting his neighbours, talking to friends, and putting it all in his journal afterwards. There is also attention paid to the tools he requires as an amateur naturalist and professional writer: pencil and eraser, staff and compass, as well as his suit of invisibility. The poet recreates Thoreau’s encounters on these long hikes: with seeds and burrs and birds, with snakes, turtles and toadstools, with an old man and fellow collector of wild apples, with a corpse washed upon a beach, with a robin in a bar, with haycocks and herb gardens.
The strong connection to Thoreau is the passion for the natural world. Pacey, too, has a cabin in the woods he built for himself on the Nashwaak River, with no neighbours within a mile or two. In these poems, he also shares his own encounters with his wilder neighbours there by Buttermilk Falls.
|ISBN associated with this title:||9781990770012|
|Published on||October 1 2022|
|Dimensions||8.5(in) x 5.5(in)|