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Reading the Mountains of Home

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Reading the Mountains of Home Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Small farms once occupied the heights that John Elder calls home, but now only a few cellar holes and tumbled stone walls remain among the dense stands of maple, beech, and hemlocks on these Vermont hills. Reading the Mountains of Homeis a journey into these verdant reaches where in the last century humans tried their hand and where bear and moose now find shelter. As John Elder is our guide, so Robert Frost is Elder's companion, his great poem "Directive" seeing us through a landscape in which nature and literature, loss and recovery, are inextricably joined.

Over the course of a year, Elder takes us on his hikes through the forested uplands between South Mountain and North Mountain, reflecting on the forces of nature, from the descent of the glaciers to the rush of the New Haven River, that shaped a plateau for his village of Bristol; and on the human will that denuded and farmed and abandoned the mountains so many years ago. His forays wind through the flinty relics of nineteenth-century homesteads and Abenaki settlements, leading to meditations on both human failure and the possibility for deeper communion with the land and others.

An exploration of the body and soul of a place, an interpretive map of its natural and literary life, Reading the Mountains of Home strikes a moving balance between the pressures of civilization and the attraction of wilderness. It is a beautiful work of nature writing in which human nature finds its place, where the reader is invited to follow the last line of Frost's "Directive," to "Drink and be whole again beyond confusion."

Synopsis:

Small farms once occupied the heights that John Elder calls home, but now only a few cellar holes and tumbled stone walls remain among the dense stands of maple, beech, and hemlocks on these Vermont hills. Reading the Mountains of Home is a journey into these verdant reaches where in the last century humans tried their hand and where bear and moose now find shelter. As John Elder is our guide, so Robert Frost is Elder's companion, his great poem "Directive" seeing us through a landscape in which nature and literature, loss and recovery, are inextricably joined.

About the Author

John Elder is Stewart Professor of English and Environmental Studies at Middlebury College and the author of Following the Brush and Imagining the Earth: Poetry and the Vision of Nature.

Professor of English and Environmental Studies at Middlebury College

Table of Contents

"Directive" by Robert Frost

Introduction

South Mountain

A Wilderness of Scars

Hiking by Flashlight

Bristol Cliffs

The Plane on South Mountain

Succession

Someone's Road Home

Interval

In the Village

North Mountain

North Mountain Gyres

The Ledges

Coltsfoot, Mourning Cloak

The Stolen Goblet

A Confusion of Waters

Notes

Selected Readings

Acknowledgments

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780674748897
Author:
Elder, John
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Location:
Cambridge
Subject:
Essays
Subject:
American
Subject:
American - General
Subject:
Environmental Conservation & Protection
Subject:
Biology-Reference
Subject:
History-United States - State & Local - General
Copyright:
Publication Date:
October 1999
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
12 fine line illustrations, 2 maps, 1 ha
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
8 x 6 in 11 oz

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Americana » General
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General
Science and Mathematics » Biology » Reference
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » Environment
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » General

Reading the Mountains of Home New Trade Paper
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Product details 272 pages Harvard University Press - English 9780674748897 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Small farms once occupied the heights that John Elder calls home, but now only a few cellar holes and tumbled stone walls remain among the dense stands of maple, beech, and hemlocks on these Vermont hills. Reading the Mountains of Home is a journey into these verdant reaches where in the last century humans tried their hand and where bear and moose now find shelter. As John Elder is our guide, so Robert Frost is Elder's companion, his great poem "Directive" seeing us through a landscape in which nature and literature, loss and recovery, are inextricably joined.
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