The Lure of the Writer’s Cabin

Much has been written about the writer’s cabin. Among the most notable recent books on the topic are “Heidegger’s Hut” by Adam Sharr and “A Place of My Own: The Architecture of Daydreams,” Michael Pollan’s account of  imagining and then actually constructing his own writing space. A standard Internet search can quickly yield images of the writing rooms (cabins, huts, sheds) of legendary scriveners: Dylan Thomas, Virginia Woolf, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Roald Dahl, Carl Jung, Henry Thoreau and — a writer of a markedly different sort —Ted Kaczynski, to name a few. And Jill Krementz’s 1999 collection of photographs “The Writer’s Desk” gives us tantalizing glimpses of writers sitting at their desks. But why the interest? Have these places somehow become secular sites of the sacred?

A statue of Henry David Thoreau and a replica of his hut are on display at Walden Pond Reservatio

A statue of Henry David Thoreau and a replica of his hut are on display at Walden Pond Reservatio

Who has not fantasized about the books they would write if only the right conditions could be found! I have carried around just such a dream, sparked by a weekend alone in an austere mountain cabin in the Austrian Alps when I was a boy. Rumination was unstoppable, and poetry just poured out. Continue reading

Polina’s Poetry

There exists a young woman that some would call beautiful. Who, some claim, passes through the world as though an apparition, affecting an unutterable feminine grace and sensuality, trailing an endless train of would be lovers and suitors. It is said to walk beside her is to see the thirsty eyes of all kinds haunt her every movement, compelling even the strongest into over indulgence, leaving many to question if beauty exists beyond rare moments of creation. The ambitions of men, never foreign to her, fall on deaf ears, easily rebuked with the wave of a delicate hand, a weary smile. Despite the praise of her physical virtues, a deep-seated dread, an overwhelming fear of loneliness, fills the deepest reaches of her heart. So strong is her sense of peculiarity, this sense of abnormality, that the young woman long ago chose to close her heart to the hope of ever stumbling across companionship. Continue reading