top of page
Featured Posts

Walton Poems

There are also divers other kinds of worms, which for color and shape alter even as the ground out of which they are got; as the marsh-worm, the tag-tail, the flag-worm, the dockworm. . . Izaak Walton

There was a bookshelf for free books near my office at Denison University, a place where I taught for seven years total in two incarnations. Sometimes when a student was late for a meeting I would browse it. One day, I found an illustrated copy of Izaak Walton’s The Compleat Angler. I began to read it, and if you’ll forgive the expression, I was hooked. I carried that book around with me for years. (I’m looking at it now.) In it I found inexplicable instructions for fishing – fishing has always been a great mystery for me – and I found lists of creatures like the ones you find in Pliny. When I read the list above, I was transported to another kind of worm – dragons. And hooks are traps or snares. The world is full of hooks. I caught some poems that spoke to the lists I found in Walton’s wonderful book. My Walton poems head off the poems in Goldberg-Variations. And, of necessity, the voices I channeled for them are antique.

Recent Posts
bottom of page