|About the Book|
This wonderful book, edited and with commentaries by Robert Bly, is a collection of some of Thoreau’s best poetry and prose. It also includes pictures of wood engravings done by Michael McCurdy which are beautiful. Unfortunately, the copy I own was purchased as a used book and some of the pictures were cut out of the book by a previous owner, so I have missed out on a few.I wouldn’t say that I love Thoreau’s poetry, although I enjoyed it much more than that of Margaret Fuller. I do love his beautiful prose, though. Robert Bly did a great job of collecting some of Thoreau’s best prose and Bly’s commentary is often just as beautiful. This is what Bly had to say of Thoreau’s writing in the Preface:Thoreau wrote some marvelous poems, which deserve to be known. They are not many. Some of his greatest poetry lies secretively glowing in his prose, as Thoreau himself implied when he remarked that he had two notebooks, one for facts and one for poems, and he often had difficulty deciding where a certain passage belonged.Bly is right: Thoreau’s prose is written so beautifully that it often has the feel of poetry. His nature writing is by far my favorite and the greatest amount of respect that I hold for Thoreau is due to his environmentalism and love of nature. When I read Walden every year, I feel like I’m living on Walden Pond with him and I can almost smell the fresh air and pine trees. The Winged Life is a collection of pieces from Walden, Thoreau’s journals, essays and travel books that capture his wonderful prose and poetry. I recommend it to those interested in Thoreau and his writing.