By this time of year in Vermont, much of what will come to fruition has been sowed and thrives. You’ve either had a crop of blueberries or not. The strawberries have long since gone by, only the verdant green remaining. Carrots, kale, squash, all should be well on their way.
What’s gone is gone. My chard, devoured by the woodchuck, will not grace my kitchen table this year. This digs at the question of poetry. I could turn my gaze and blind myself to how my garden lies at this time, weedy and gnawed in places, the peppers sweet and savory, the green ripening on the ear, the cucumbers proliferate. A metaphor for raising a child, acknowledging where wiser tending could have happened – or not. The elements of rain and cold and disease will thrust in.
But writing, perhaps, is a different endeavor than life. You get a rough draft; with diligence, you can rewrite and rework, burnishing your words. Easier, less risky, less dear.
Isn’t this all a matter of hunger, of desire in one raw form or another, a great maw of longing for satiation? The woodchuck to fill his belly. The carrots to thicken. A writer’s desire to reflect and hold the world’s mysterious complexity and beauty. A child’s yearning for growth and expansion.
A mountain can be a great teacher–not only because it manifests that cosmology of sincerity and restless hunger with such immediacy and drama, but also because it stands apart, at once elusive and magisterial…. (Walking up Hunger Mountain) reminds me yet again that things in and of themselves remain beyond us, even after… the most concise and penetrating poem.
–– David Hinton, HUNGER MOUNTAIN