Tramps, Mountains and Unicorns
The Glacier Park Hike of Vachel Lindsay and Stephen Graham
Keywords:Tramping, Glacier National Park, Vachel Lindsay, Stephen Graham, Thoreau, nature spirituality
In the late summer of 1921 the British travel writer Stephen Graham and the American poet Vachel Lindsay hiked northwards through Glacier National Park. Both men had in their different literary spheres established a reputation as refugees from modernity, writing books and poems that tried to articulate a vision of alternative societies, where life could be free from the materialism and corruption of western civilisation. The two men retreated to Glacier Park both to discuss their ideas and to seek a natural world where they could find a solace they could not find elsewhere. Both of them wrote books about their sojourn in Glacier Park, presenting it as a place where the mundane could give access to the numinous, and the place itself become an arena for a remaking of the self. Their books and their experiences provide access to a series of important questions ranging from the agency of the material landscape through to the challenge of capturing the spiritual in the language of both poetry and prose. ?
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