Perched on the banks of Stony Brook in the Cape Cod town of Brewster, Hay observes the stunning phenomenon of the annual run of the alewife, a herring that spawns in fresh water, enters the ocean as a fingerling, and returns to its natal pond. From the Gulf of St. Lawrence to the Carolina’s, hordes of alewives make the dramatic journey every Spring. For Hay, the run is filled with danger and beauty: “In terrible simplicity, the alewives were swimming toward the island gauntlet they would have to run, having a title, by their common, wild, and ancient advent, to all great kindled things.”
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In a book first published in 1959 and now reissued in an anniversary edition, John Hay, the nature-writing laureate of Cape Cod, ponders one of the great curiosities of nature in those parts. The mystery in question is the annual migration of the alewife, a kind of herring that behaves in this respect much like the salmon, moving at infancy from the freshwater lakes of New England into the cold Atlantic Ocean and thence back to the waters of its birth. The journey, Hay writes, is oddly heroic, and it comes at great cost: some 90 percent of the adult alewives do not survive the arduous move from ocean to stream. Hay's prose, too, is oddly enchanting, given that his subject is a fish--and a none-too-lovely one at that. No matter, for Hay describes the alewife as "a life that shone with vibrant persistence, one of nature's particularized energies, a wild texture as old as the animal world, a food that was the beneficent matter of all struggle and greed." His pages ring with such fish-born poetry as he recounts the life cycle of the alewife from wriggling larva to adult. The migration of this intriguing fish, he concludes, "is not only a matter of routes or seasonal behavior. It has to do with an internal response to this spinning globe and its unendingly creative energies." That creative energy nicely describes the spirit of this slender study, as well as Hay's other fine books. --Gregory McNameeAbout the Author:
J Hay is a Beacon Press author.
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Descrizione libro W W Norton & Co Inc. Hardcover. Condizione libro: VERY GOOD. Very Good copy, cover and pages show some wear from reading and storage. Binding may have light creases. Lots of life left in these pages. Codice libro della libreria 2693245799
Descrizione libro Condizione libro: Very Good. Book Condition: Very Good. Codice libro della libreria 97803930126993.0