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Dan Rattelle is a poet of rural New England, so comparisons to Robert Frost are inevitable, if obviously not fair. Thanks to the interwebs, you can find a significant portion of his work on-line and Wiseblood books has just published an inexpensive collection, Painting Over the Growth Chart: Poems that is getting good reviews. There are even a couple podcasts you can check out. I particularly enjoyed the poem, Sugar Shack, that he reads and discusses here. I couldn’t find an etext for that one, but this one is perhaps not too dissimilar:
The Footbridge (Dan Rattelle, Winter 2021, Modern Age)

Disused. Obsolete.
I’m sure. Quite so.
But still, how sad: this too, this human feat,
Must go.

No more will footfall sound
Along the planks.
The iron rusted red like clay around
The banks.

The brook will ever wend
To sea, to sea!
As if to say that yes, it too will end
As we.
The theme of both of these poems is the passing of a way of life in our region and the near disappearance of the infrastructure that sustained that life. But note that it is only near. One of the enduring wonders of New England is our astonishing complex of stone walls. And these are not like the Great Wall of China or Hadrian’s Wall, standing out visibly in open country. No, you often find our stone walls when you’re wandering in dense woods. And where Shelley’s Ozymandias invites us to scoff at the pretensions of a once great man, these walls invoke our awe at the ancestors who not only plowed up all the stones required for their building but cleared such forests so they could farm the land. The combination of achievement and humility seizes one first, then the sadness that, whatever the benefits of modernity, their works slid back into literal obscurity.

Please don’t let me scare you into thinking Mr. Rattelle’s work is purely elegaic/nostalgic. There’s plenty of fun to be had, from an ode to cider to a sort of love song to a manic pixie girl. Take advantage of the links below and check him out yourself.


Grade: (A+)


See also:

Daniel Rattelle Links:

    -PROFILE: Daniel Rattelle (Linked In)
    -TWITTER: @DanRattelle
    -JOURNAL: Trinity House Review:A semi semiannual journal of poetry (Edited by Dan Rattelle and Travis Wright.)
    --BOOK SITE: Painting Over the Growth Chart: Poems By Dan Rattelle (Wiseblood Books)
    -GOOGLE BOOK: Painting Over the Growth Chart: Poems By Dan Rattelle · 2024
    -THESIS: The meetinghouse (Daniel Paul Rattelle, 2023, A thesis submitted for the degree of MFA at the University of St Andrews)
    -POEM: POSTSCRIPT: AT THE RUINS OF ST MARY ON THE ROCKS, ST ANDREWS (Dan Rattelle, February 18, 2020, North American Anglican)
    -POEM: Beson (Dan Rattelle, 2/23/23, Ad Fontes)
    -POEM: A Pint of Still Cider (Dan Rattelle, October 2021, Honest Ulsterman)
    -POEM: THe Commonwealth (Dan Rattelle, 4/15/21, National Review)
    -POEM: Oar (Daniel Rattelle, St. Katherine Review)
    -POEM: Lux In Tenebris (Daniel Rattelle, Dappled Things)
    -POEM: Cul-de-Sac (Daniel Rattelle, Dappled Things)
    -POEM: Postcard: The Swans at the Botanical Garden (Daniel Rattelle, june 2023, First Things)
    -POEM: Ordinary Time (Daniel Rattelle, december 2019, First Things)
    -POEM: Golden Gate (Daniel Rattelle, July 11, 2017, Society of Classical Poets)
    -POEM: The Footbridge (Daniel Rattelle, January 25, 2021, Modern Age)
    -POEM: All Souls (Daniel Rattelle, Ekstasis)
    -POEM: The Bookcase (Daniel Rattelle, July 6, 2019, North American Anglican)
    -POEM: ‘Besides, Anna Livia, You Can’t Dance to Joy Division’ (Daniel Rattelle, Banshee Press)
    -POEM: Package Store (Daniel Rattelle, 8/31/19, North American Anglican)
    -PROFILE: James Matthew Wilson on Truth, Beauty, & Goodness (Daniel Rattelle, October 6th, 2017, Imaginative Conservative)
    -PROFILE: Sneaking into the King’s Forest at Dark: A Conversation with Ryan Wilson (Daniel Rattelle, Dappled Things)
    -PROFILE: Comedy and the Catholic Novel: A Visit with Lee Oser (Daniel Rattelle, 1/31/18, Crisis)
    -ESSAY: Work and Prayer: The Brief Friendship of Thomas Merton and Wendell Berry (Dan Rattelle, June 19, 2020, Front Porch Republic)
    -REVIEW: of The Elegy Beta by Mischa Willet (Dan Rattelle, North American Anglican)
    -REVIEW: of Jane Greer’s Love Like a Conflagration (Daniel Rattelle, Catholic World Report)
    -REVIEW: of Pointing Home by Catherine Chandler (Daniel Rattelle, Catholic World Report)
    -REVIEW: of Some Permanent Things by James Matthew Wilsonr (Daniel Rattelle, Catholic World Report)
    -REVIEW: of Wonder and Wrath by A. M. Juster (Daniel Rattelle, University Bookman)
    -FILM REVIEW: Emma (2020) (Daniel Rattelle, North American Anglican)
    -REVIEW: of Motherland by Sally Thomas (Daniel Rattelle, North American Anglican)
    -REVIEW: of The Commonplace Misfortunes of Everyday Plants by Renee Emerson (Daniel Rattelle, Front Porch Republic)
    -REVIEW: of Red Stilts by Ted Kooser (Daniel Rattelle, Front Porch Republic)
    -REVIEW: of The Best Poems of Jane Kenyon (Daniel Rattelle, Front Porch Republic)
    -PODCAST: CD 04 - Daniel Rattelle On Poetry, Place, and Berry & Merton (Alan Cornett, Dec 01, 2020, Cultural Debris)
    -PODCAST: S1: Episode 3: In this special episode, we discuss the poem "The Sugar Shack" by Daniel Rattelle. We also consider one of the poets who influenced him, Alfred Lord Tennyson (Poetry for the People)
    -REVIEW: of This Our Exile by Joshua Hren (Daniel Rattelle, First Things)
    -ARCHIVES: Dan Ratelle (North American Anglican)
    -ARCHIVES: Daniel Rattelle (Imaginative Conservative)
    -ARCHIVES: Daniel Rattelle (First Things)
    -ARCHIVES: ratelle (Dappled Things)
    -ARCHIVES: Dan Rattelle (Solum Press)
    -ARCHIVES: Dan Rattelle (Front Porch Republic)
    -ARCHIVES: Dan Rattelle (Honest Ulsterman)
    -ARCHIVES: Dan Rattelle (National Review)
    -ARCHIVES: Dan Rattelle (Crisis)
    -ARCHIVES: Daniel Rattelle (Catholic World Report)
    -ARCHIVES: Dan Rattelle (Ad Fontes)
    -REVIEW: of Painting Over the Growth Chart by Dan Rattelle (A.M. Juster University Bookman)
    -REVIEW: of Painting Over the Grow Chart (STEVE KNEPPER, New Verse Review)
    -REVIEW: of Painting Over the Grow Chart (G.E. Schwartz, Voegelin View)
    -REVIEW: of Clinton Collister and Dan Rattelle, eds. An Outcast Age (Hannah Bash, Transpositions))
    -REVIEW: of The Slumbering Host, edited by Clinton Collister and Daniel Rattelle (David Russell Mosely, Imaginative Conservative)
    -REVIEW: of Slumbering Host (Lisa McCabe, Front Porch Republic)
    -REVIEW: of Slumbering Host (James Smoker, Transpositions)
    -REVIEW: of Slumbering Host (Heidi White, FORMA journal)
    -REVIEW: of The Commonwealth by Dan Rattelle (Glynn Young, TweetSpeakPoetry)
    -REVIEW: of Commonwealth (Joshua Hren, University Bookman)

Book-related and General Links: