At Water's Edge
Poems of Lake Nebagamon, Volume One

Paperback: 122 pp.
Published: 2010

Price: $15.95

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This book is available in Kindle, Nook, Sony, Kobo, and Apple E-book formats, for purchase, and through public libraries' Overdrive account, for loan.


In these engaging poems, Louis Daniel Brodsky continues the meditative dialogue with Lake Nebagamon and its environs, which he began in You Can't Go Back, Exactly. Reading At Water's Edge, one thinks of Thoreau in his cabin near Walden Pond, or Wordsworth in London, reflecting on his boyhood haunts in the Lake District, or Whitman on his Long Island beach.  But the backdrop of Brodsky's Nebagamon poems, as one knows from his previous books, is thoroughly modern; and the driven need, at times desperate, to escape the loneliness, alienation, and dizziness of the urban "necropolis" both underscores and heightens the personal quest for inner peace and serenity that the poet finds in the north Wisconsin woods.


— Robert Hamblin, author of Keeping Score: Sports Poems for Every Season, This House, This Town: One Couple's Love Affair with an Old House and a Historic Town, and Crossroads: Poems of a Mississippi Childhood



At Water's Edge opens, for us, a full sense of love for the outdoors, from someone generously "Taking time to look and listen, see and hear." Poem after poem shares one man's alerted words for the American north country and for our journeying moods of mind and body, in this ever-changing natural world.


— John Felstiner, author of Can Poetry Save the Earth?: A Field Guide to Nature Poems, Paul Celan: Poet, Survivor, Jew, and Translating Neruda: The Way to Macchu Picchu



Perhaps the only thing as dear to Louis Daniel Brodsky as the beauty of the written word are his memories and experiences on the shores of Wisconsin's Lake Nebagamon, which the poet describes as "glory's hinterlands." The combination of his two passions is a wonderful example of the poetry of place — the kind of soul-forming and life-affirming locale that we all have somewhere in our lives. What the open road was to Whitman, the North Woods are to Brodsky.


— Brad Herzog, author of Turn Left at the Trojan Horse



I have been a longtime admirer of the poems of Louis Daniel Brodsky, but no collection of his has quite moved me as deeply as At Water's Edge. These poems bring us, his grateful readers, closer to the experience of nature, which is, as Emerson noted, a symbol of spirit. Spirit and nature mingle in these poems, which lift us, lay us bare. I hope Brodsky finds a wide audience for this work.


— Jay Parini, author of The Art of Subtraction: New and Selected Poems



You give such great local color to our wonderful little village, camp, trees, birds, lake, etc. I really feel the longing and the depth of your emotions in each selection. . . . Lake Nebagamon is fortunate to have you write about our little town.


— Eddie Drolson, lifelong resident of Lake Nebagamon, Wisconsin



As one may describe Bouguereau to the blind or Ravel to the deaf, Brodsky relates the amniotic splendor of Lake Nebagamon and the freedom found in the captivity of its ecstatic peace. I know Brodsky's lake as if I've swum her since birth, yet I long for the day when I can know my Nebagamon and can compare it to this poet's envy-worthy testimony. I must trust his promise of discovery: "When you look for it – / That which you'll never find – / It'll be there, waiting for you."


— David Herrle, editor of and author of Abyssinia, Jill Rush



Louis Daniel Brodsky is our Whitman of the Middle West. His poetry rings out from the heart of the heartland, full of tenderness, truth, and a wholly American beauty, reminding us that grace is a possibility, even for our sore-beset land and its troubled people.


— James Howard Kunstler, author of The Long Emergency and World Made by Hand


This book is available in Kindle, Nook, Sony, Kobo, and Apple E-book formats, for purchase, and through public libraries' Overdrive account, for loan.

Ripples and Gusts

I always thought the wind was invisible

And, if not audible, at least articulate.

The trees know this best; they whisper its lyrics.

But sitting at dock's edge,

I see the breeze as basket-weave ripples

On the surface of this restless lake,

Watch its gusts skitter across the water,

Forming, thrusting, shifting,

Then winnowing into diminishment, welling again.

Out here, I sense my hour is now,

Though I'm not even wearing a wrist watch;

Indeed, I've forgotten to zip my fly.

At sixty-six

(Almost as old as the temperature is brisk),

I'm just a mess, a fool of a poet,

Who, perhaps for the first time in his life,

Has seen the wind face to face —

Lake Nebagamon's ripples and gusts.


Click here to read an article written about the Lake Nebagamon Trilogy.





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