Field O' My Dreams
The Poetry of Gene Stratton-Porter
Mary DeJong Obuchowski
The Kent State University Press
A fresh look at the poetry of this midwestern writer
“Mary DeJong Obuchowski has conducted meticulous literary and historical research and her writing is clear and interesting. Those who love Porter’s writings will enjoy this volume. Those who appreciate natural description will find it compelling. Those who enjoy the whimsy, surprise, rhyme, and rhythm of poetry read aloud will find it very appealing.”—Philip Greasley, associate vice president, University Engagement, University of Kentucky
In Field o’ My Dreams, Mary DeJong Obuchowski presents the collected poems of Gene Stratton-Porter, an Indiana writer and naturalist who is best known for her young adult fiction and other early-twentieth-century novels and nonfiction writings about her midwestern and California environments. She is far less well-known for her poetry, however, despite having published two books of poetry as well as hundreds of her more whimsical, rhyming poems in such popular magazines as McCall’s and Good Housekeeping.
In her introduction to Porter’s work, Obuchowski argues that the natural and spiritual themes of Porter’s poetry mirror the self-same concerns regarding nature and social issues found in her fiction and nonfiction. Reflecting and in some cases reacting against, current social attitudes at a time of political and demographic change, she was in demand as a columnist for popular magazines and a widely read fiction writer. Porter wielded considerable influence over her reading public, and in that role she acted as a reformer, particularly regarding the environment but also on behalf of women, children, and education.
Field o’ My Dreams, which includes previously published poems as well as an unpublished poetry manuscript, will be a welcome addition to the libraries of Porter fans and poetry readers.
Mary DeJong Obuchowski is professor emerita of English at Central Michigan University. She has published articles in MidAmerica, Nature Study, Children’s Literature Review, Great Lakes Review, Dictionary of Midwestern Literature, and An Encyclopedia of American Literature of the Sea and Great Lakes.