As a boy growing up in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Raymond Luczak delighted in the mysterious attractions of nature in a huge expanse of abandoned woods and fields known as “across the street.” In This Way to the Acorns, he remembers encountering unexpected guests of the woods: a scraggly fox, a starving doe, an industrious chipmunk, all enveloped against the backdrop of nature. If he remembers the first shimmers of spring, he does not forget the stark reality of death, or, ultimately, the forgiving power of the seasons. This Way to the Acorns is a flinty-eyed ode to that overpowering sense of childhood wonder.
This tenth anniversary edition has a new afterword by the author on how the book came about.
Four sample poems are included for your enjoyment:
This Way to the Acorns: “The Caterpillar Queen”
“When we are young, the natural world is full of magic. But this wide-eyed wonder is educated out of us; schooled out with textbooks, drowned out with cell phones. Luckily for us, Luczak remembers the magic, and in This Way to the Acorns, he brings us back to childhood’s awe at the simplest things: the first snowfall, a strong wind, a fox on the hunt for food. These are the spirits Walt Whitman would have us honor. I haven’t thought of the willow tree in my grandmother’s backyard in years. Today, I did.”– Bryan Borland, author of My Life as Adam
“In exploring the metaphors of nature and using them to give us these delectable snapshots of his childhood and siblings, Luczak reminds us that unexpected beauty lies around the corner of each leaf, each tree, each snowfall. In precise lines of magnificent poetry, he takes us into a world we gladly wish to inhabit. This Way to the Acorns remains one of the top five books on my upper shelf, always within easy reach. Its republication is a gift, indeed, as is the delight to be found in his work.”– Pia Taavila, author of Moon on the Meadow: Collected Poems
“. . . a book of such grace and grave joy that I think must be read. How simple, modest, true each poem is. I shall love having it by my side. It gives me joy. ‘The First Snow,’ ‘Darkly Went the Wind,’ ‘Under a New Moon’: they bring the world close to my flesh, to my mind. This book is a blessing.”– Ned O’Gorman, author of Five Seasons of Obsessions: New and Selected Poems