from ON WALKS: THOREAU
and always in pieces, which walking arranges a long line against a sharp sky and always in pieces he noted birds within a man to find breaking its difference owl / hollow hour / otter passed as counting. Much of Thoreau’s work is sufficiently conscious of rhythm that it, in itself, constitutes a kind of walking, punctuated by rhyme, often off, in which one pauses, looks up, and sees a bird, often landing on a branch.
evening passes inside a person passing a very small match striking the sound of a match striking down into the foot-thick ice on Walden Pond in March and finding therein the candle he’d dropped while out on a walk the previous autumn had been all night awakening owls, all of them flowers, huge magnolias flying out of their shadows who sheerly by accident set fire to the woods.
Cole Swensen is the author of 14 collections of poetry, most of which focus on a single cultural or aesthetic question. Her current project, Walk On, looks at the relationship between writing and walking. Her most recent book, Gravesend (University of California, 2012), explores the cultural history of ghosts. Also author of an essay collection, Noise That Stays Noise, and founding editor of La Presse, a press that specializes in contemporary French work in translation, she teaches in the Literary Arts Department at Brown University.