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I am a big fan of films set in the wilderness - like Sorcerer, Apocalypse Now and Deliverance. There is an allure to hidden lakes, thick unassailable forests and prairies. On the one hand, I think the attraction towards such places represents a longing for childhood. But they also represent a dark side of my psyche. I have often fantasized about my life as a man on the run from the law and how the swamps and forests would provide refuge from the world. I have also felt that I should read about t...
I want to remember in my body the fringes of the Cambrian Ocean where the first green cell leapt from the sea, flopped into swamps, lured by air and the warmth of the sun while still clinging to the silent mud of its origins. The region of the earth that I currently call home is a swampy marshland - and many of the places that Hurd describes in this book are close to my home. I have a deep appreciation for swamps and bogs and the important ecosystem of this marginal landscape; but Hurd takes
The universe dropped this book into my lap the day after we visited and I became enchanted with Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia. We were shopping at a flea market and I happened to find an old National Geographic magazine from 2007 I had been looking for. The vendor told me I could pick out two more magazines or books for the 25 cents I was paying him for it. The first book my eyes saw as I glanced over the pile was Stirring the Mud and I thought, how wonderful, a book about swamps!This book is amaz...
If I had to choose one book to keep among those I read in 2010, this would be it. In Chapter One, 'Marginalia', she explores edges: "Whether bog or swamp, all wetlands have edges, rich strips where two hands clasp. On the edge, vegetation is always more varied, a mix of mature trees and grassland, or bog mat and shrubs, waterlilies and spruce saplings. Browsing creatures and wind-carried seed cross over from one biotic community to another. The young are often raised along these edge zones where...
where did this little gem come from.....meandering mud and mind and the mysterious edges of our lives that we traverse so carefully. the swamp that beckons to a chosen few who are willing to stir the mud and see what happens. thank you jo.
This was one of those books that was hard to rate, because although I didn't like it, I have to concede that it was well-written and it would probably be enjoyed by a different reader. I've been reading a lot of "nature writing" lately, and I can definitely say that I have a preference for a more down-to-earth, factual approach, with some narrative and humor sprinkled in. It seems that I do not like intellectual, philosophical, poetic musings about nature, such as this book.I happen to love swam...
This is a fabulous book! At a time when I was drawn down in terms of inspiration, this book kept offering me new ideas and new views and subtle commentary about the need to feed one's creativity outside, it was if I'd been invited to sit by a fire flaring with other writer's dreams and slowly grew more and more eager to add my own to the fire. I'm keeping this on a shelf for days when the news is bad, the irritation overwhelming, the chatter in my head too loud, or whatever circumstance is batte...
No stories, per se, just lyric meanderings on the subject of mud and mud-related conditions. Thomas Aquinas wrote, "beauty arrests movement." Hurd reminds us that Galway Kinnell's poem, "The Bear" is an extended metaphor, an ars poetic. A surprising collection of lyric essays. If you aim to write in that particular sub-genre, this is definitely the anthology to study.
This author has the most luscious writing. It is very meditative, can be picked up at any place and read over and over again. I wish she wrote more than the occasional book or article.
This book is gooey and soupy and dreamy. The author dons hip waders to squish out metaphor and opaque imagery. It's scientifically informed poetry. It's about liminality, emptiness, spirituality, unknown, death, decay, preservation and human relationships with wildness. It showcases Tamarack, Ghost Pipes, Pitcher Plants, Lady Slippers, Duck Weed, swamp gas, Bog Beacons and mud. This book was written for me.
What gives a swamp value? This book does not answer that question, but makes you think about what makes you ask that question, questioning the feelings and impulses that happen when we encounter swamps. Thought provoking and interesting.
Essays on nature and life, but they aren’t very scientific (that could be a benefit for some). Very nice. Not “wow” nice, but well written. It’s hard to write a whole book about swamps and not get repetitive if you are not deep into the science of them.
Beautiful lyrical essays about the not so beautiful but spellbindingly alluring swampland!
One of the most beautiful & imagination provoking books I’ve read in quite a while. Bogs & swamps as poetic muse for meditations on life & death, creation & rotting.
An irritatingly large amount of Buddhist musings that, for me, took away from the power of the book.
Her prose is like poetry. Gorgeous book, each chapter about a different aspect of wild places.
A perfect read for all your swamp-loving poets. Or poet wannabes. Or swamp-loving wannabes. I liked it a lot. Full disclosure -you might say I'm a swamp geek.
(Homework response October 3, 2011) Others have already commented on the poetic nature of Barbara Hurd's language in her essay “Moonmilk” and in this book Stirring the Mud, but I thought that the similarities extend further than just the use of metaphor and the description of landscape. The way that she weaves together art, mythology and spirituality with her imagery of the swamp and her own personal history is perhaps the quality of the essays that make them the most like modern poetry. Poetry
Hurd, a poet and naturalist writer, offers an engaging and lyrical set of essays on the natural world -- most of it, intriguingly, exploring some rare bogland near her home in western Maryland. A lot of it has to do with the resonances of the natural world with one's personal life, but the most interesting aspect remains the way she delves -- literally and literalily -- into bogs, swamps and marshes, those often feared, undervalued and even despised landscapes that so teem with life.
Love this book. Since I wasn't able to be with Leslie while she was taking chemotherapy I sent her this book so that she could be transported away from the depressing process of having these chemicals run into her body. She LOVED this book and was able to have her mind just where Barbara Hurd was, in the bogs, where we both love to be also.
This book was recommended to me by someone who reads my blog. I consider myself fortunate to have found it. I've been spoiled by reading Kate Llewellyn's memoirs into craving more personal revelation along with nature writing. Still, five stars because I have no valid reason to expect that.
This book is magical. Even if you don't have any interest the mysteries of the swamp, you should read this book for Hurd's writing style alone. I am still basking in memories of her transcendent and visceral prose.
This is an elegant collection of essays. Hurd will make you want to go out and play in the swamps, investigate the bogs, and find some way to express it as eloquently as she does. This was a book with dreamy sentences and evocative words that bear rereading and investigation.
read it in college - it's interesting if you're really into swamps.
I keep coming back to this book. Beautifully written and thought-provoking. Makes me fall in love with it a bit more with every read.
If you enjoy swamps and marshes you will enjoy these essays.
The author, a true swamp thing, glories in the muck. A poetic and philosophic exploration of all things damp.