Hunter’s Log is Timothy Murphy’s long-awaited book of hunting poetry. With his faithful Labrador, Feeney, Murphy wanders in deep snow along the windbreaks of the Sheyenne and Red River valleys, reciting poetry and firing at the pheasants Feeney flushes. His poetry is deceptively simple, rhymed verse in the manner of Robert Frost.
Murphy’s poetry is internationally acclaimed, yet he is not well known on the Great Plains—where his unique poetic vision was shaped. Trained by Robert Penn Warren and mentored by Richard Wilbur, Murphy has tuned his voice to the treeless windswept landscapes of the northern plains. His poetry explores the rural countryside of North Dakota.
Heavily influenced by Spanish philosopher José Ortega y Gasset’s Meditation on Hunting, Murphy sees hunting as a spiritual activity. There is nothing cloistered in his poetry. He tramps through the tall grass prairie of eastern Dakota and along the ridges and buttes that overlook the mighty Missouri, then cooks up what he kills in exquisite stews and ragouts. Timothy Murphy’s genius is to write poetry that is accessible to all, simultaneously simple and profound, and deeply imbued with the spirit of place.