Writer Baron Wormser presented “Thoreau’s Legacy” as part of Eastern Connecticut State University’s University Hour Series on Oct. 23. He also presented a reading later that evening. Wormser spoke of the influence of Henry David Thoreau on Wormser’s life in the woods of Maine.
Wormser cited Thoreau as being the main influence in his life, having been introduced to Thoreau’s work during his high school years. Intrigued by Thoreau’s decision to live “deliberately,” Wormser was inspired to start writing poetry when he was 14 years old. He later built a home in the woods of Maine where he remained for 23 years with his family. The home was built by a humble carpenter named Caleb, assisted by Wormser and his wife. Wormser stated that Caleb offered to build the house since Wormser and his wife had no carpentry experience. Caleb never mentioned anything about being compensated for his work; he had built the home simple because he loved the trade.
Wormser began his presentation by reading a passage from his memoir titled, “The Road Washes Out in Spring.” In the passage, Wormser read how Thoreau would walk through the woods for hours at a time by himself, and that “mere observation employed him.” Wormser stated that “society is an experiment” and life is about what you do with your time here on Earth.
After the reading of the first passage in “The Road Washes Out in Spring,” Wormser explained how “we take a lot for granted” in life. Because of his decision to live the “simple life,” he was no longer able to take basic things such as water, heat, water and light for granted. Although Wormser no longer lives in the Maine woods, he says that “the simple life” is still apart of him.
During his evening presentation, Wormser read from both his poetry and prose. The themes in his writing consisted of issues that may be difficult to talk about had they not been presented in such a poetic way.
Eastern Connecticut State University is the state’s public liberal arts university and serves approximately 5,400 students each year on its Willimantic campus and satellite locations.
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