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Reading the Mountains of Home

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  57 ratings  ·  6 reviews
Small farms once occupied the heights that John Elder calls home, but now only a few cellar holes and tumbled stone walls remain among the dense stands of maple, beech, and hemlocks on these Vermont hills. Reading the Mountains of Homeis a journey into these verdant reaches where in the last century humans tried their hand and where bear and moose now find shelter. As John ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published October 1st 1999 by Harvard University Press (first published 1998)
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Average rating 3.98  · 
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Margo
Oct 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Once again, a book I wanted to like more than I actually did. The essays seemed forced to me, as if Elder had tried too hard to make what he experienced fit the lines of Frost's poem "Directive," instead of just letting the lines of the poem influence his direction.
Nick D'amore
Jun 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I often find that poetry is seen as inaccessible or exclusive to some as a result a reader's inability to "place" the poem somewhere. There isn't a concrete location to envision, or a cohesive string to follow, or a theme the bares itself to its audience (unless you want to spend hours on one piece, which surely not everyone cares to do).

John Elder, by way of Frost's late-great poem "Directive," humbly serves as guide to the quest that is "reading" a poem. A professor of English at Middlebury
...more
Jillian
Sep 03, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Vermonters/Hikers
This was a great local history/ethnography of little Bristol, Vermont. I grew up hiking in and around much of the area Elder discusses in his book, and so I was charmed by it. One of my favorite components of the book was the inclusion of Robert Frost's poetry throughout. He weaves Frost's words into his experiences, rememberances, and the history of Bristol cliffs and the Vermont mountains.
Margy Levine Young
Nov 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Rev. John Weston loaned me this book because it’s one of his favorites and it’s about Addison County, VT where we live. It’s a lovely combination of literary criticism (analyzing a single Robert Frost poem), nature writing (about the Bristol Notch), and personal reflection. Wonderful.
Cathy
Feb 02, 2011 rated it liked it
Liking it a lot - I like how Elder's examining Frost's poem "Directive" as he examines the forests/mountains of his Vermont home.
Scott Ellis
Jan 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Outstanding book that combines analysis of a Robert Frost poem, autobiographical details, and a great sense of place and nature. This book is a must read for, well, everyone.
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