Literary interlude: The Run

26 01 2012

While on Cape Cod earlier this month, I stopped into a used book shop in Harwich (the only place open on a very cold day near the ocean) and picked up an old copy of John Hay’s The Run, a non-fiction ramble along the brackish streams of the Cape where swim the alewives: an ocean-living, but freshwater spawning fish. The book is a fine example of the gentleman-poet-naturalist genre that was once quite common. Hay’s writing is often quite lovely, and always approachable, and one passage in particular made me think of you Seanetters:

“I saw a kingfisher rising up over the creek, a green crab shifting over the shelving bank; and on the beach were the remains of a black duck, sodden, bedraggled, the feathers loaded with wet sand, the breastbone sticking up like the white prow of a helmet, flies buzzing over it–the smell of salted carrion around it.”

 

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