“The New Sketch Book: An Anthology of Voices” by Vermont poet Ella Warner Fisher published by The Excelsior Press in Shelburne, Vermont is the next of a number of extraordinary books by Vermont authors in the first half of the 20th century that we discovered recently. See this book and others in our OrionsAttic eBay store and stay tuned for more. We were astonished not only to find the books here in Maryland but that the books are written with exceptional skill and are in equally excellent condition. We found the books in the bottom of a box we bought at an auction in Morganza, Maryland.
We haven’t yet been able to learn much about Fisher, who also authored “Idylls of Champlain,” “Green Mountain Echoes,” and “Castles of Memory.” She identifies herself as a “Writer of Magazine and newspaper verse.” This book is “Dedicated to my townspeople and all students of human nature.” Fisher includes an explanatory note that states, “Some of the sketches in the following pages are a memorial to those who lived, loved and died before us, inscribed ‘lest we forget.’ The others are purely fictitious, samples of human nature, with no reference to, or reflection on any person, living or dead.”
The 85 pages of the book are filled with poems in the voices of a wide range of people. The opening poem on page 7 sets the tone for the rich work that follows. Entitled “Voices,” it reads in part:
The valleys are full of voices,
Each with its own appeal,
Vibrating in field and woodland,
Arising from brick and steel.
Wave on wave intoning
Out of the everywhere,
Caught in the meshes of wireless,
Vibrant on the air.
Waiting voices that whimper
With life’s unending pain,
Fainting hearts who are longing
A measure of peace to gain.
Clatter of empty voices
Having nothing to say,
Chattering always of nothing
Other “voices” represent perspectives including that of a man who fought in the American Revolution (Fisher herself appears to have descended from such a man), an old engineer, the founder of a church, an old schoolmaster, and many, many more. You’ll find that Fisher’s works are recapturing public attention as people are beginning to reprint them.
Do you have cool stuff to sell or need an estate liquidation? Orion’s Attic would love to hear from you. Contact us today. We serve the greater District of Columbia, Maryland and Northern Virginia (NOVA) area and beyond!