Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Twelve Moons of the Year. Hal Borland. Significant Sentences.

Significant Sentences. Twelve Moons of the Year. Hal Borland.

Hal Borland published these essays in the Sunday New York Times. He did it to remind New York City citizens that another, a rural world existed outside the city.

If you like the New England seasons of the year, this book is timeless. For years, every morning I have begun my day by reading an essay to match the date. Hal Borland paints pictures with words. His knowledge of nature is astounding. He can tell you how fast an insect's wings beat and the history of wild flowers with their medicinal properties in the days before modern medicine overwhelmed us with pills. Was there ever a plant as versatile as the dandelion?

But what I like most about these essays is that Borland captures the very spirit of the seasons. I can feel the snow crunching on an especially cold January night. I can see the fireflies glittering in a June dusk. I can walk with the farmer who goes out to his field to work on the night of a harvest moon. I love this book.

It is out of print. I cannot understand why it has not been reprinted. The last time I checked at Amazon.com, I found that to buy a used copy would cost over $95.00. It certainly did not cost that much when it was first published as a Book-of-the-Month-Club selection in 1979.

You won't be able to buy a copy, but you will be able to enjoy my significant sentences. This book should never go out of print. This blog is my contribution to keeping selections from invaluable books available on the Internet.

All the best. RayS.

Barbara Borland: "But each essay, taken separately, seemed like a new born day." p. vi.

Hal Borland: "I suppose the essays served in the Times as reminders that there is a countryside beyond the city streets." p. x.

Hal Borland: "I am sure some of the essays reflect my disenchantment with man's belief that he owns the earth and must dominate everything and everywhere." p. x.

...the essays "...are sheer celebrations of life." p. x.

"January can be cold, raw, bitter, icy, edged with a wind that chills the marrow and congeals the blood." p. 4.

"January is winter, its very essence." p. 4.

A January sunset: "...long light glows on the crusted meadow." p. 4.

"Mid-evening and the moonlight casts ink-black shadows on the snow." p. 5.

"...a cold, bitter, ice-edged January night that engraves itself on the senses." p. 5.

"...the sun seemingly as reluctant as the rest of us to get up." p. 5.

To be continued.

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