"Budbill both informs and moves. He is, in short, a delight and a comfort."—Wendell Berry
"[Budbill] can be hilarious, as when he gripes, 'What good is my humility / when I am / stuck / in this obscurity?'"—Booklist, starred review
"His terse, epigrammatic lyrics are a lilting mirror of classical Chinese poetry."—The Wichita Eagle
David Budbill continues his popular poetic ruminations on life in remote New England—an outward survey of a forested mountain and an introspection of self-reliance, anonymity, and the creative life. Inspired by classical Chinese and Japanese poets, Budbill contemplates the seasons, ambition, his questionable desire for fame and fortune, and simple, focused contentment: "Weed the beans. Pick the peas."
"Out in the Woods"
The only time I'm really free is when I'm out in the woods
cutting firewood, stacking brush, clearing trails.
Just the chain saw, the dog and me.
Heave and groan, sweat and ache.
Work until I can't stand it anymore.
Take a break.
Sit on the needle-strewn ground up against a big pine tree,
drink some water, stare out through the woods, pet the dog.
Stretch out on the ground, take a nap,
dog's head on my lap.
Ah, this would be the time and place and way
David Budbill is the author of poems, plays, essays, speeches, and book reviews. He has also served as a commentator on NPR's All Things Considered. He lives in the mountains of northern Vermont where he tends his garden and website.