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A Chilly, Sunny Day

The sun is shining, and my tray of lettuce, collard and kale seedlings is out on the deck here at Hummingbird House-- but the air is still chilly. It went down to 26 degrees last night! As always, gardening gets off to a slow start here in the Northeast. And in the same mode, I'm off to a slow start with my new writer's website. Ancient though I am, I feel like a seedling in the chilly, sunny morning air.

What I'd love to do here is talk not just about my writing, but also about writing that I love-- writers I've loved whose work sustained me all my life. The poetry of Keats, Yeats and Dylan Thomas; the novels of Virginia Woolf, George Eliot, Thomas Hardy, D. H. Lawrence, Dostoevsky, the Brontes, Dickens . . . but how silly to be name-dropping! The lists just get longer, and we all know them, if we're lucky-- or if we are even luckier, we can have the joy of getting to read them for the first time-- as I recently did with Moby Dick. I'd put off reading it all my life, and suddenly there it was, in all its wonderful eccentricity, profundity and freedom. A treasure! And the treasure made all the richer by my luck in having an old Modern Library edition, with magnificent illustrations by Rockwell Kent. How could it ever be read without them? Surely Melville himself must have commissioned them.

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