Chlorophyll: Poems about Michigan's Upper Peninsula (Paperback)

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Chlorophyll: Poems about Michigan's Upper Peninsula By Raymond Luczak Cover Image


Join me on a journey to the unspoiled forests of Upper Michigan...

"A long time ago young men wishing to be tall

scaled the mast of my octopus arms

and scanned the horizon of Lake Superior

for a glimmer of Canada. Usually we were cut down ..."

For many of those who've lived there, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan can seem like a magical place because nature there feels so potent and, at times, full of mystery. After having grown up there, Raymond Luczak can certainly attest to its mythical powers. In Chlorophyll, he reimagines Lake Superior and its environs as well as his houseplants as a variety of imaginary and historical characters.

"Ghosts dress in only gray and white.

This is how they camouflage their volcanic selves.

Lake Superior is bottled with them.

You can't see them but they move like fish ..."

"In Raymond Luczak's Chlorophyll, the devastating natural beauty of Michigan's Upper Peninsula is imbued with passions its reticent human inhabitants are loathe to express. Trees, lakes, and stones air their infatuations, their grudges, their mythologies and griefs. Through this forest of the otherwise unsaid, we catch glimpses of a speaker who knows there is no line to blur between 'person' and 'nature.'" -Emily Van Kley, author of Arrhythmia and The Rust and the Cold

"Spring is a girl who's cried all night

only to find that morning easily forgives

the coldness of him having left her

stranded among the thicket of evergreens ..."

"Giving voice to the natural world, Raymond Luczak allows the rocks, trees, lakes, insects, and flowers that are part of flora and fauna of the region to speak for themselves, and they remind us that we are human, living in a more than human world." -William Reichard, author of Our Delicate Barricades Downed and The Night Horse: New and Selected Poems

"Upper Michigan is, indeed, a magical place of great beauty and is truly worthy of the best hymns and poetry that nature can inspire." -- San Francisco Book Review

Raymond Luczak grew up in the Upper Peninsula. He is the author and editor of numerous titles such as Compassion, Michigan: The Ironwood Stories. His book once upon a twin: poems was chosen as a U.P. Notable Book for 2021. He resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Learn more at

From Modern History Press (

Product Details
ISBN: 9781615996421
ISBN-10: 1615996427
Publisher: Modern History Press
Publication Date: September 1st, 2022
Pages: 98
Language: English