The Way to the Salt Marsh: A John Hay Reader

The Way to the Salt Marsh A John Hay Reader In common things are greater extensions of ourselves than we ever conceived of Life on earth springs from a collateral magic that we rarely consult observes John Hay naturalist essayist sage and

  • Title: The Way to the Salt Marsh: A John Hay Reader
  • Author: JohnHay Christopher Merrill
  • ISBN: 9780874518641
  • Page: 422
  • Format: Paperback
  • In common things are greater extensions of ourselves than we ever conceived of Life on earth springs from a collateral magic that we rarely consult, observes John Hay, naturalist, essayist, sage, and inveterate walker of byways This collection from the 50 year long career of America s preeminent nature writer illustrates the full range of Hay s work An elegant and l In common things are greater extensions of ourselves than we ever conceived of Life on earth springs from a collateral magic that we rarely consult, observes John Hay, naturalist, essayist, sage, and inveterate walker of byways This collection from the 50 year long career of America s preeminent nature writer illustrates the full range of Hay s work An elegant and lyrical stylist, he is, in Merrill s words, the nature writer s writer, an illustrator of the Emersonian notion that the world is emblematic And so Hay reveals the ubiquitous but often unnoticed emblems all around us The mad, impossible rush of alewives flinging themselves upstream to mate, for example, represents the drive to be, a common and terrible sending out, to which men are also bound in helplessness In the migratory movements of the terns and the green turtles past his beloved Cape Cod Hay sees the mystery and magnificence of homing To know your direction and return through outer signs, is as new as it is ancient We are still people of the planet, with all its original directions waiting in our being Whether describing the rugosa or bayberry of a sand dune, the plight of stranded pilot whales, or a spider swinging on its gossamer, Hay encourages us to enlarge our inner universe by observing, appreciating, and preserving the outer one we so often ignore As a result, he says, we may find that we are being led onto traveled ways that were once invisible to us, and by recognizing our deep alliance with natural forces we find a new depth in ourselves This is the common ground for all living things.

    One thought on “The Way to the Salt Marsh: A John Hay Reader”

    1. Hay is that attentive naturalist whose writing bursts poetically outward from the specific to the universal. His exquisite prose ranges from the seagull's wing, to a ship that emerged on the beach only to submerge again after the next storm, to the migration of clouds in a winter sky, with aplomb. Hay's shared delight at the world about him reveals an equal love of living a life that answers, how then shall we live?

    2. And there, next to me, as the east wind blows in early fall, a season open to great migrations, are those lives, threading the air and waters of the sea, that come out of an incomparable darkness, which is also my own.—'The Eye of the Heart'

    3. I loved this book. Loved it. John Hay's descriptions of birds and fish and living near the shore are wonderful.

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