In the warmer months of 1962, Ronald Johnson walked the Appalachian Trail with Jonathan Williams, beginning south in Georgia and heading north to New York state, ending their trek perched above the Hudson River. In a small hardcover ledger, marked "Record" on its red spine, RJ kept a journal of this walk. In 1963, RJ & JW crossed the Atlantic, intending to repeat their walk, this time in the English countryside. The observations he made during this adventure would become the basis for The Book of the Green Man. He recorded some of his initial impressions in the same Record he kept on the Appalachian Trail. The following images are the pages that were written in April 1963; these would be transformed into the poems that make up "Spring" in The Book of the Green Man. After the entry on April 18th, the Record is empty, save for a few recipes on the endpages. He must, at some point soon after, have switched to another notebook.
Ronald Johnson's England Journal Pages
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Copyright © 2001 by Peter O'Leary
Light and Dust Anthology of Poetry