Relating to Nature | Review of Marianne Bluger’s “Gathering Wild” (1987) Brick Books

Marianne Bluger had a great insight into looking at nature and contrasting them with her feelings. Her ability to craft a collection of words into emotions that the mind’s eye can interpret was a wondering gift. And her collection of poems in Gathering Wild shows the wonderful gift she had.


In Early Summer – Page 15

Turn, I turn

and turn but

you are gone;

shifting greens

hide every contour

clear in spring.

Wind strikes the thickset

lush, flutters

slight deceptions

and departs-

but it isn’t you

and one of us is lost.

Bluger spoke volumes in this small volume. Her words are enlightening to read and reread.

The Spinster Settler’s Song (Page 28)

I’ve banked logs in the grate for night

but fury nearing like a blood-raged hound

cracks and sparks amber, smoulders, rages,

a burning peril underground.

At the edge of the primal wood I live,

a bony woman, a lonely life,

the mules in the shed, a hoe, an axe,

a silver pen, my father’s knife.

They know me at the crossing for

my learning, and my sullen way.

I keep a shotgun by the bed;

I teach their children how to pray.

The sharp smoke lately on the wind

is dangerous, and yet I swear

no place on earth was ever freer

of all the links men forge in fire.


Taking the time to find a quiet corner and pondering these phrases is a wonderful treat.

Gathering Wild (page 40)


It’s beginning to rain on the river.

In all the city the only news

is drops hitting water pflick, pflick,  . . .


I never before have come to this

dock at the end of things

where shame took him off

on the barge of grief.


He breathes in my lungs

as though he had never left,

and the rain chills my skin

because our blood was warm.


Over rocks in my flimsy shoes

I move down

to the water’s edge, the lapping rim


listening: wind’s in the reeds-

pathetic (and false I suppose)

to think is sighs for us.


But we were like saplings-

our leaves would just touch

as we rustled, and o

we were pure.


Gathering Wild is an insightful and emotional collection of well-crafted poetry. It was a pleasure to read.

Link to Brick Books page for Gathering Wild


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