The Mountains Belong to Me by Linda Dickert is a collection of nature based poetry. Dickert does not have much of a public profile. What I can gather is that she lives or lived in the Smokey Mountains and is a dog lover. Perhaps the most important piece of information is that all proceeds from this collection are being donated Spark Companions a non-profit organization that helps pay vet bills for those in need. Sparky, is the the name of her deceased pit bull.
The poems are in the same vein as Pope’s pastoral poems or Frost’s New England take on the outdoors. Dickert is the Smokey Mountain version of the pastoral. She looks at the seasons and natures reaction to the changes. She writes of the stars and dreams and the purity of nature:
Maybe this is why
the storm is so grand
to clear pollution and
force renewal of the
terrain as is this
magnificent mountain morning.
From the stars in the sky, to squirrels running in the forest, Dickert manages to capture the wildlife and sense of freedom in the rugged outdoors. She writes of balance in nature:
They take from the forest what is needed
And leave it as they found it.
To create Balance in nature that
Humans can only imagine.
Halfway through the book she introduces the reoccurring theme of dogs. Not just her dogs, Sparky and Fiona, but all dogs. She writes of all dogs from a hungry abandon puppy to pit bull rescues. There is much emotion written into her words. You can feel the look in the stray dog’s eyes.
The Mountains contains poems of imagery and feeling. It is easy to picture her words of an early sprouting of tulips and daffodils pushing up through the January snow. For those who live were there is a distinctive winter and spring, the words will give vivid imagery of an experience and it will remind those of us who used to live in cooler climates of childhood experiences.
I remember growing up where we all seemed a bit closer to nature, even the city dwellers. I may not have had the Smokey Mountains, but I did have a large, forested park with streams and wildlife. Today, I am lucky to have a “Greenstrip” – a strip of land undesirable for commercial use, planted with grass. It’s not a park. It’s not nature. It’s just a sanitized strip of grass calling out for a book like The Mountains to remind us of what we used to have.
A very nice collection of poetry and memories.