October 1, 2014
Delanty, Greg et al. So Little Time: Words and Images for a World in Climate Crisis. Vermont: Green Writers Press, 2014. Print.
So Little Time is a compilation regarding our current world climate issues. There are poems, reflections, and photos, and they aren’t subtle. The book’s message is that we are killing our planet and we damn well better do something about it, and oh yeah, it may be too late. But in that framework, the language and the visuals are beautiful—a paradox of ecology. Here’s an example of the message from a stanza of the poem Apathy Is Out, a translation by Greg Delanty of Cork poet Sean O Riordain’s work.
“There’s not a fly, moth, bee,
Man, or woman created by God
Whose welfare’s not our responsibility;
to ignore their predicament
Many of the contributors are from Vermont, but some aren’t, and some are long dead. But wherever they are from, the writers’ material works cohesively with the photos to keep hammering out the message in a beautiful way. Grace Paley, Ellen Bryant Voight, William Stafford, Bill McKibben, Mary Oliver, Hayden Carruth, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Galway Kinnell, Robert Frost, and Johnson State’s very own David Cavanagh—these are a handful of authors who make So Little Time compelling and profound.
Photographers Mariana Cook, Catherine Dianich Gruver, Jerry Hiam, Steven Brock, Evie Lovett, Peter Hope, Judith Aronson, Annie Tiberio Cameron, John Willis, and several others add their pictures of plants, people, water, and bridges as companions to the words on the page. At the end of the book there is a Contributors section to give us an opportunity to learn who is behind each name.
This is a good book to read outside under a tree. So Little Time requires quiet contemplation. It is a book about recognition and responsibility, about what we still have, and what we have lost. For those of us who get the message and try to live by it, this book is a strong reminder to keep at it. For those of us who don’t know about the message or don’t believe it, perhaps, just perhaps, So Little Time will change our minds.
So Little Time is published in Vermont by Green Writers Press, whose mission is “to spread a message of hope and renewal through the words and images we publish.” The publisher donates a percentage of its profits to the environmental activist group, 350.org.
Access Services Librarian