Have you read Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard? If you love the Boundary Waters and the North Shore, you will love this book that chronicles Annie Dillard's crazy discoveries about the natural world. She even tells a story about Monarch Butterflies flying over Lake Superior around an invisible prehistoric mountain. I quote her in The Superior Life--"When I added the dimension of time to the landscape of the world, I saw how freedom grew the beauties and horrors from the same live branch....That something is everywhere and always amiss is part of the very stuff of creation....A poet says, 'The force that through the green fuse drives the flower/Drives my green age.' This is what we know. The rest is gravy."--Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, at the end of Chapter 10.
On September 15, 2011 Micawber's Books in Saint Anthony Park, Minnesota, hosted a reading to launch The Superior Life, my book of poems and drawings. Below is my introduction to that reading, and it gives a good idea of what this book is about, I think:
To me poems are stories told from different places in the body….sometimes from the eyes or mouth, sometimes from the brain or the heart—but even the feet tell the story--or some cranny between vertebra or cells. Anyway, these are my stories, And my hope is that they can somehow be something of yours if one happens to tweak a memory or a thought or a wish—or your own song or poem or story.
I am grateful for your presence, whether you love poems or the northern wilds and lakes.
I dedicated this book to Gabriel, Britta and Laura, my children, with whom I rediscovered the stillness and riveting joy to be found "up north" in the BWCA Wilderness or meandering along the beaches and cliffs of Lake Superior. And I dedicate this reading to my father, Curt Larson, who taught me to fold a tent, paddle a canoe, and get there, no matter what.
These poems are here, though, thanks to Julia Jenson, Meghan Maloney-Vinz, Kate Shuknecht and Meg Masterson—these amazing women make up Broadcraft Press. I am grateful they chose to publish The Superior Life.
Fires are burning in the BWCA and my trip tomorrow is being re-routed. Tonight all our thoughts are there with the animals, trees and people who live there and love the place. So I’ll start with a poem about forest regeneration….
Jean Miriam Larson is a poet and writer who adores being close to the water of any northern Minnesota lake.
To jump in chilly waters, just do a few squats
A blog to encourage....
the hearty to grab a paddle, the awake to look for the moon
over Superior, and the harried to listen to silence...
or, really, just a few updates on The Superior Life, a little book of poems with sketches of some amazing northern places, dear to many hearts.