In “How to Be a Poet”, Wendell Berry says that the first requirement is to “be still”. It is good advice but a rare accomplishment in times when noise blares in every direction, from cars and stores to the restaurants where decibels are intended to mean fun but tablemates can’t even exchange conversation. On Treichler’s mountain in the Appalachian foothills of New York, she is the Sherpa of quietude.
As her reader, you should take Berry’s advice to heart and “First, be still.” Follow her vibrant voice as your guide through a terrain in which house lights are turned off to view “a smoke of stars” (“On a Hill at Night”) or the “Found Gold” of first daylight.
Notice how many poems in this collection came to her in the ordinary business of daily labor: mowing lawn, weeding garden, stacking firewood. Join her informed conversations with great authors and thinkers. Meet her irritating neighbors who invade her house and garden, impatient cattle who know they are boss, swallows who foul the porch but clean the yard and very air of insects. Breathe in the aromas of life’s stages and meet the family. Indulge in her repeated prescription for laughter, and take as needed. A visit to Mt. Washington will do you a world of good.
From the book:
Old Widow in Spring
Sat in my rocking chair on the north porch in the glow of new locust leaves turned gold by the sun
robins dive-bombed a squirrel swallows swooped after gnats chipmunk nibbled dandelions
sat there as usual in a warm glow rocking and remembering
suddenly all this radiance wasn’t enough suddenly I didn’t want to be old
I wanted to be young in springtime with you
Martha Treichler is a retired teacher and a retired registered dietitian. She lives on a farm on a hill near Hammondsport, New York. During the 1948-49 school year she studied with Charles Olson at Black Mountain College.
This is her fifth book of poems published by FootHills Publishing.
We Have Reached Home
is a 76 page hand-sewn paperbook with spine. $16.00