On Walking On

A review of Cole Swensen’s On Walking On by Julie Poitras Santos at the Cafe Review.

Literary history is replete with writers who walked and who wrote about walking, from early pilgrimage accounts to contemporary records.  Cole Swensen tackles this voluminous history in a book of poems about many such writers, interspersed with prose poems regarding walks of her own.  The volume is organized loosely chronologically — beginning with Chaucer and ending with contemporary writers Iain Sinclair and Will Self — and it contains longer poetic sequences about the work of Rousseau, Thoreau, Sand, Woolf, Walser, Sebald, and poet Lisa Robertson. …