Stay within the music

  Stream in Southbury, Conn.    -- Photo by Karlfonza

Stream in Southbury, Conn.

-- Photo by Karlfonza

"New England's brooks, streams and small rivers have incited many to poetry, starting with Anne Bradstreet's meditations on the Merrimack -- in whose tributary the Concord Emerson discovered a symbol of the flow of Being. Frost's 'West-Running Brook' handsomely ponders one of our lesser watercourses. I suppose I could stand beside the brook in our woods and rehearse such meditations, or think up something of my own about the great symmetries of the creation, of which the water cycle is one. But such thoughts are best worked out in the study.

The thing to do with a brook, I think, is to climb or descend it, now scrambling along the bank, now jumping across from rock to rock, now crossing back over a fallen tree trunk. That way you are always within the infinitely  changing music of it.''

--- From poet Richard Wilbur's essay "New England Brooks,'' in the book Arthur Griffin's New England: The Four Seasons. Mr. Wilbur died Oct, 14 , in Belmont, Mass.