Louisa Thomsen Brits’ Path narrates place and personhood through poems that make ‘a short story about reciprocity’. This small book treads lightly through wide scapes of spirit and land; beginning with a quote from Robert Macfarlane: “paths connect. This is their first duty and their chief reason for being.” Perhaps all beings (human/non-human) are also paths: expressions of particularity and process; routes and roots to our essential connections.
I am footfall and track,
trail and trace,
thread of passage and possibility.
Trodden-through with a region-specific ‘word hoard’, Path is both intensely local to those paths Brit walks and universally translatable to our own natural geographies, histories, biographies.
I offer to make sense of the world,
to unravel tangle to intelligible thread,
I am your next natural step,
a silent, sinuous course stretching ahead of you...
Wildlife and landscape infuse text, drawings and photographs: the crows — “tar-black tricksters lit with life”; “a sudden skylark, selved in song”; the “wind-bent age-black hawthorn … keeper of the beacon, remnant of woodland”.
Path‘s counsel is timeless: “Walk with me”, “Yield to me”, “Follow me”, “Cast off your cares”, “Stand still. Look back”, “Walk, only walk”, “Walk into the land.”
Our path grows wider,