Wednesday, 30 December 2009
The Wild Places by Robert Macfarlane
I had never heard of this book. My sister gave it to me for Christmas. It is a wonderful present, like one of the pebbles that the author might pick up from one of the shingle beaches he so beautifully describes. In reading I thought of two other authors in particular - Seamus Heaney and Patrick Leigh Fermor. There is a love of language here that goes beyond mere cleverness or look-at-me; the language makes the world it describes. Language becomes as articulate as painting in rendering particular experience. It is a book about the 'wild places' of the British isles, but it is also about friendship and science and history and poetry. I shall post separately a poem by Robert Frost quoted in the text.