Outdoor Advent Day 17

A dead tree trunk lies on the floor of the wood surrounded by brambles and fallen leaves in various shades of greens and browns. Growing on the trunk is a fungus (type unknown) with beige/white colouring that make each section of it look like flattened, browned marshmallows.

A good one,
if you’re starving, could save
your life. A bad one would kill you
after only one bite. Step on its poison head,
it billows black fumes.

– a stanza from Fungi by Tamar Yoseloff

I found this poem by accident when I was wandering down a few internet rabbit holes after trying to attribute the ubiquitous “all fungi are edible, some fungi are only edible once” quote that I was going to put here instead. Since the edible quote turned out to be, yet again, one of Terry’s* I thought that this would be more interesting for all of us.

I had not come across Tamar’s work until this particularly fruitful google search and I’m so glad it popped up. Writer, teacher, and poet, Tamar was born and brought up in American but moved to the UK in 1987 and seems to have been making wonderful things here ever since. I’ve put all her published works onto my “Challenge Wishlist**” since I can’t just rush out and buy them and have instead been thoroughly enjoying the work she shares on her website.

I was really interested to see that she likes to combine images and words and in 2012 started Hercules Editions specifically “with the aim of bringing together new poems with visual imagery”. I am itching to read their newest offering, The Practical Visionary by Sophie Herxheimer and Chris McCabe, which is a a collaged dialogue between the authors and their luminary inspiration, William Blake. It sounds absolutely fascinating and so very much up my street.

Anyway, if you already know Tamar’s work I’d love some recommendations for where to start once I’m able to buy new things again and if you don’t, I hope you enjoy getting to know her work as much as I have.


*page 39 of the Discworld Almanac, although it looks as if he may just have rephrased a Polish proverb.
** I’m currently in the midst of my “A Year of Reading Frugally” challenge which you can read about here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s