Thursday, November 19, 2009

Walden by Haiku on NPR's Living on Earth

This weekend's edition of the NPR show Living on Earth will include an interview with Ian Marshall in which he discusses his recent book WALDEN BY HAIKU. In this unusual project, Marshall explores what he calls "haiku moments" in Henry David Thoreau's Walden by actually stripping the text down into haiku form. For example:

pitch pine where the chimney stood
sweet-scented black-birch
where the door-stone was

the bloom rubbed off
in the market cart

Marshall's accompanying text examines the underlying principles shared by Thoreau's very image-driven work and the art of haiku. He argues that this thought experiment helps clarify what makes the best passages in Thoreau so powerful and lays a foundation for a better understanding of the aesthetics of American nature writing.