“Summer Isotherms”

Click here to read Melissa Frederick’s “Summer Isotherms,” a poem crafted from W. G. Kendrew’s Climates of the Continents.  About the poem and its composition Melissa says:

“I was surprised at the richness and scope of the language in Kendrew’s Climates of the Continents. In the text, Kendrew doesn’t just describe temperature variations and weather events. He builds sweeping metaphors of controlling regimes, cursed landscapes, monstrous storms, and the people who have to live in, under, and around them. The language drew me in, especially the section on the Mediterranean, an area I visited twenty years ago and have never forgotten. The image Kendrew constructed from his own knowledge and quotations from other observers exactly matched my memory: a color-saturated space of tranquility and light.  s I started putting together “Summer Isotherms” from the word bank I chose for myself (the section on Europe, pages 197-261), I found I was writing a story about both loving a little piece of the world and escaping oppression.”