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.

1 comment:

  1. The Wild Places is a sheer joy to read. Macfarlane's idea of the wild changes as he travels about the British Isles; at first he roams the desolate expanses of the Scottish Highlands and western Ireland, but as he comes into southern England he realises that wildness also exists in little pockets amid our crowded human existence, even close to his home in Cambridge. This is a beautiful, profound and important book.