Finding poetry in the parks

Professor Glenn Freeman (English and creative writing) spent two weeks each at Rocky Mountain and Isle Royal national parks last summer. He wasn't vacationing, though. He was the parks' artist-in-residence. Freeman was one of six artists chosen from more than 100 applicants. He gave two public lectures at each park.

"The opportunity to get to know these two landscapes intimately, and to then have the time and solitude to reflect and write about those landscapes, had a profound impact on my work," Freeman said. "I was given the chance to really inhabit these places and learn both the natural and human histories. I'm sure that the material I generated will be the subject of my work for some time to come, since I feel as if I'm only beginning to process the experiences.

"In both parks I realized that I was looking for images that somehow corresponded to an interior experience. That's now my challenge in my writing, to bring this pool of images to the page in a way that might echo with other people's emotional lives as well."

Last Night at Scoville Point

This may not be the end, but you can see the end from here--
Louis Jenkins

It's Tuesday night I think,
but it feels like Saturday,
and I'm not even sure what that means.
The ferry's in the harbor.
Out on the trails, new visitors
get their first glimpse of the island
while others stroll to the point
for one last drink of the light.
Perhaps it's the melancholy of Saturdays.
The beach light & surf of childhood
and the rides just beginning to go.
It almost feels as if the sea cares.
But this is 1,200 million year old basalt
and the sea its long-term mate.
I'm nothing new to them.
Tonight, I'll lie on the point
one last time and stare at a moonless
midnight sky, wonder how much
older the light of stars
hitting the point is than the rock
I'm sitting on. In a flicker, I'll be gone.

Glenn Freeman