|Paint the Goat|
By Mark Sargent and Susan Howard
Published by Susan Howard, San Francisco (1994)
Mark Sargent is an American poet living in Greece. He has taken up residence in the mountains of the Peloponnesus. His neighbors, long fast in their stronghold of ancient culture, have yielded to this one man's invasion. He is amongst them now, having married in. The locals are stuck with him. Mark, he's "family dammit" and he has planted grapes and olives for the future while he chronicles the present in this place with so much past.
Paint the Goat is a lovely handbound volume illustrated and published by Susan Howard. It is filled with Mark's poetry and observations on life as it is being lived in a way quite foreign to the American norm. It is a very personal diary of country living in a land that is subtly changing.
Read this book now. With the mountains of the Peloponnesus well out over the horizon. You may find yourself sensing the motion of the earth turning as we all sail along through time and space.
I could not think of a better winter's read if you happen to be planning (or dreaming of) a spring trip to Greece. To Greece, or anywhere else, for that matter. Mark's work is illuminating! Just last week I managed a trip to the Napa Valley on the strength of just one poem, and from where I live in Sonoma County, Napa can seem a world away.
(An excerpt from Paint the Goat, "Only a Madman Can Prune an Olive Tree," may be seen below this issue's Note from the Editor.)
If you are interested in purchasing a copy of Paint the Goat, I suggest you contact the author directly. He prefers to do business the old-fashioned way. Drop him a card or letter, and he will get back to you with the details, or send a money order. The price is $30 US, plus $5 shipping. He will be happy to hear from you.
(You may also wish to visit the Book Shop, our on-line bookstore featuring a select list of titles written primarily by local authors.)