“A poem records emotions and moods that lie beyond normal language, that can only be patched together and hinted at metaphorically.” – Diane Ackerman
Born this week in 1948, Ackerman is known for her poetic explorations of the natural world and her wide variety of topics. Among her books of poetry is The Planets: A Cosmic Pastoral, which may have been influenced by the fact that she had astronomer Carl Sagan, creator of the TV series Cosmos, on her dissertation committee.
The Cher look-alike has authored 14 nonfiction books, 7 books of poetry and 3 children’s books and won numerous awards. In 2015, her book The Human Age won the National Outdoor Book Award and New England's Henry David Thoreau Prize for nature writing. She’s also been a finalist for both a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Critics Circle Award for One Hundred Names for Love.
Usually I have a poem from our featured poet for Saturday, but Ackerman’s work is not available for reprint, so instead, I close this look at my selection for Saturday’s Poet with one more interesting quote, to show a bit of her writing style.
can be unexpected, momentary and fleeting, yet conjure up a childhood summer beside a lake in the mountains; another, a moonlit beach; a third, a family dinner of pot roast and sweet potatoes during a myrtle-mad August in a Midwestern town. Smells detonate softly in our memory like poignant land mines hidden under the weedy mass of years. Hit a tripwire of smell and memories explode all at once. A complex vision leaps out of the undergrowth.”
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