A North Country Life: A Collection of Essays by Vermont Poet Laureate Sydney Lea


There are, in my view, some things that go beyond time and place, race, and sex. One of them is nature. On its surface, Nordic rural life may seem like a book that is attractive to men only, nostalgic for hunting and fishing, and camping in the sheltered New England. But for me, a black woman growing up in a factory town in New England, this book resonates deeply. Sydney Lea, an excellent narrator, tells stories that communicate universally.

Nordic rural life is a collection of essays grouped according to the four seasons of the year (although winter is not called winter, but "cold weather"). Lea tells how men and women in the past were moving through the cycles of the year in sync with nature and usually with each other. Hunting manure, pheasant, deer. Driving logs downstream early in the morning. Each account is infiltrated by determination, a sense of matter.

The same essence of the facts permeates the reflection of the human cycle. I recommended all my close friends read the ten-page head "Now Look". In this essay, Matty, one of the women in the north, manners, actually tells about the cycle of her marriage: how the drunken dejected man who was now out in the shed was once the most beautiful and most productive man in the north. How life had broken him. How did she want her not to let go, how she was determined to stick to the cycles of her life … and to him. Any woman who has ever seen her husband struggles and fails to fail can relate to this story. Now Look is an excellent example of transcendent writing Nordic rural life : Whether to read this when you sit on the front porch of the cabin or on the back terrace of the city, you will get it.

Sidney Lee's writing is considered provocative and lyrical. He is a poet, not just every poet. He is the laureate of the poets at Vermont. For the Prozacist reader (meaning of the word) like me, the reader who reads about themes and relationships and resonances (this superiority I have discussed above), some of the poetic gazes of the Introvert Lunge can sometimes fail,

Anyway, very, very glad I read Nordic rural life I was able to read and expect to read the essays again each season in season.

When I was a little girl growing up in a railway on the other side of the street from a scissors factory, the walls of my bedroom were covered with paintings of woody nature. Right now I have a home in the country. Sydney Lea is greatly written Nordic rural life remind me why.