One poem recounts the floundering of a ship by listing its cargo as it descended to the lake bed. Another tells how the flotsam that came ashore from a wreck was used by a woman who collected it and how: "Sometimes, she wondered why bales floated and men didn't, and what buoyancy meant for her own life, dry as it was." And then there's probably my favorite sentence in the entire book. It is the last sentence of a poem describing the 1871 destruction of the J. Barber by fire. The sloop carried a hold full of peaches. "Peaches sizzled and split as the ship burned, as fire consumed what was made of sugar and what was made of wood, as masts toppled like limbs pruned from fruit trees, as men rolled across the deck like windfalls, bruised and scraped, and everything was reduced to carbon and loss." It seems almost every page of this slim book contains striking visual images captured in words. An appendix at the back of the book gives the facts surrounding the demise of the ships that inspired the poems. Each account is a single paragraph in length.
Don't check this book out from a library, buy it. Once read, you are going to be drawn back again and again to these poems because you will want to re-experience the magic of an alchemist of words who can meld fact, imagination, history, and language into pure gold.
There are also two versions of UP pasties, and instead of the ubiquitous Mackinac Island Fudge, there’s a near fool-proof recipe for Mackinac Island Peanut Brittle. The author also includes thumbnail sketches, with photos, of the various eateries, farms, wineries, etc. from which the recipes have been drawn.
As always, if you would like to purchase one of the reviewed books or any book, clicking on the cover of an above book will take you to Amazon where you can purchase the book below list price.