The Power of a Poem

Where do you go to escape? to revitalize your brain?  Has something you read ever inspired you to find a place described in the lines?

In his article for the New York Times –  ‘Intimate Exile,’ From Stanza to Stone – Jeff Gordinier writes about traveling to Luing (pronounced “ling”) – an obscure Scottish island in the Hebrides that he found in a poem.   The poet, Don Paterson, promises that Luing is a place to be renewed; the island’s welcome sign greets with “a place to think…a place to be.”  Luing is isolated and beautiful – unknown to tourists, and without the amenities that travelers may expect in a more popular retreat; not many places like that still exist, and those that do, demur from being written about – to escape discovery.

The search for peace within the solitude of nature is not new.  Thoreau’s Walden Pond promised renewal.  Inspired by those words, I once hiked in the woods alone, at first fearing that I would not find my way out, until I slid into the comfort of knowing that no one could find me for the moment. Reading tales of Guernsey (The Soldier’s Wife; The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society) have piqued my interest in visiting those hills and coasts.

What have you read that’s led you to points unknown – or, at least, lured you into thinking about going?

Read Dan Paterson’s poem “Luing” – here

2 thoughts on “The Power of a Poem

  1. I am in immersion reader (I immerse myself completely in a book, which is why I didn’t read fiction for the first three years of my son’s life) and so wherever I am reading about is where I want to go! But being a nature girl, it is descriptions of nature that truly pull me in. Reading Hawaii, or The Golden Spruce (Haida Gwai), or Paddle to the Amazon – makes me want to explore further afield. The truth is that I live somewhere (as you do) that many people dream of visiting, and so I spend a lot of time in the great outdoors exploring and experiencing and being grateful for my good fortune.

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