Breakfast Poem | An Excerpt from Midlife with Thoreau by Diane P. Freedman
This is a book about writing as righting. At midlife Diane turns to the books of Thoreau, not to mention his landscapes. Practicing the nature cure and the narrative cure, she writes, in poems, essays, and journals, about family, feminism, and literary history, loss, divorce, dating, accidents, animals, waterways, local landscapes, and teaching environmental literature in ruburban New Hampshire. She sojourns with books and domestic beasts, tramps brambles and trails, and basks in language, love, and lake-front sun. Thoreau loved a “broad margin” in his life and Whitman, another influence, “a certain free margin.” Out of these, Carl Bode maintained—and Freedman shows—poetry could grow. Taking direction also from new environmental writers such as Ian Marshall, John Elder, Janisse Ray, Sandra Steingraber, and Amy Seidl and from other hybrid or narrative and autobiographical critics, this is a book of intense observation, advocacy, lyricism, sweetness, and sadness.
Enjoy an excerpt from the book below:
I want breakfast
but I can wait
to see first the rain spattering the pool
the otters made in the ice
on the pond that leads to the woods
where the barred owl sits.
My son oversleeps
and I should go for the paper
but I study the grey brown of the oaks,
the lichen climbing up the trunks
I see out south and west windows.
Here, in winter,
a small fog lifts from the frozen river
of early morning.