John Daniel The Trail Home

ISBN 13: 9780679412090

The Trail Home

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9780679412090: The Trail Home
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An examination of the issues of land use and ecological responsibility argues against industrial and consumer profligacy, celebrates the natural mysteries of the world, and describes how humans have withdrawn from nature

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From Kirkus Reviews:

Thoughtful, plain-spoken nature essays, mostly about the Pacific Northwest. Poet Daniel introduces his prose with a slew of short and amiable, although unremarkable, essays on such subjects as planting a garden, hiking the High Sierra, battling a pack rat in the house, and writing poetry about nature. In several outings, however, Daniel shows considerable originality, force, and descriptive art. In ``The Impoverishment of Sightseeing,'' he tours Yosemite in a bus with his mother, contrasting the static images passing by the window with his compelling view when climbing a rock face--the cracks and tiny nubbins in front of his face and the bright granite valley always flaring in the periphery. Moving from bus excursions to TV as a way of seeing nature, Daniel points out that ``we give up the active moments of awareness--glancing around, comparing, looking long or only briefly--to the autocratic screen.'' The reality of nature-- without images preselected and framed for visual impact--can appear lifeless and disappointing, he says, when one's consciousness has been trained by TV. ``The Long Dance of the Trees'' eloquently evokes old-growth forests, particularly in the Northwest. Thousand-year-old Douglas firs tower over smaller trees, giants in themselves--western hemlock, red cedar--the canopy diffusing a soft radiance of light down to the earlier tree generations rotting on the forest floor, covered with mosses, lichens, truffles, and mushrooms. The timber companies, having clear-cut their own lands, have every year pressed for higher cuts of these forests on public lands, until only 15% of original old-growth forest is left in Douglas fir country. To Daniel, the economic ``growth we hold practically sacred is in fact a self-centered adolescence we'd do well to put behind us.'' A voice that's fresh, self-reflective, and free of cant: a welcome debut. -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Publishers Weekly:

In these delightful essays, poet Daniel ( Common Ground ) compares depicts the pleasures of many modes of observing nature--whether in the backyard, on television, at with or the more conventional contrasting sightseeing spots as well as through in scenic places as well as with participatory outdoor activities--and concludes that the quality of the natural environment is not best seen through tourism sightseeing and nature documentaries, to say the least. diminish the viewer's engage ment with nature. Daniel offers trenchant comments about the effects of foot traffic in wilderness, and provides an engaging account of a territorial dispute with a pack rat. Once an activist, Daniel confesses to ambivalence about environmental radicalism and is troubled by current policies of land use, noting that cults of beauty and utility alike reduce nature to a commodity. His final essay expresses appreciation of his home landscape on the San Francisco Bay Peninsula. This is a personal, contemplative and satisfying view of nature.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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9780517156247: The Trail Home

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ISBN 10:  0517156245 ISBN 13:  9780517156247
Publisher: Random House Value Publishing, 1995
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