Like a Bird Flying Home

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Walter Clark

Edited by Francelia Mason Clark and Alison Clark

176 pp., 6 x 9, Paperback



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“Plows to the left and plows to the right! Tired men sipping coffee in the cabs of their pickups, state plows with eight tons of sand on board, men making the best of their snowblowers, old women crossing the road to church wrapped in white clouds like Venus calling on Aeneas.”

These are the voices of Walter Clark, serious prose writer of both close descriptions and idiosyncratic depictions of landscape he loved. This book intersperses these two ways of looking at the world as he retired from university life to long-planned new ways of life in New Hampshire. Now in new energy he wrote or revised 49 poems of perception and contemplation, joy, despair, and resolution. The poems bring us into the narrative of his life. Meanwhile, he was writing letters in pleasure to his daughter, Alison. Through them, along with her, we roam at night between snowdrifts, dismember a beaver dam, learn how post-and-beam carpenters walk, welcome a mouse invasion, boil maple sap all day. Together these perceptions capture seasons and years, bringing the reader into the kind of magnetism held by a Northern New England place.


From the 2015 Reunion of the New England Literature Program of the University of Michigan: