The Bedford Citizen’s Summer Reading Week: Barbara Feehrer ~ ‘Lake Lessons’

By Linda White

Poet Barbara Feehrer – Image (c) Linda White, 2018 all rights reserved

Spending a quiet afternoon with Barbara Feehrer’s Lake Lessons: Reflections, a very personal poetry collection of nature and memories, is guaranteed to give the reader a welcome respite from summer’s heat, a window into her relationship with the natural world, and the power of both love and loss.

Feehrer reflected, “Words have always been an important element of my life.”  She recalls her mother telling her that even at an early age she loved words and the search to find just the right words to express her observations and feelings. “Writing is a way to capture a special moment, like a painting or photo perhaps, or a way to process experiences, a way to revisit or return to special places or times…in short, a way to re-live my life’s story.”

Feehrer wrote throughout college and has continued to refine her poetry craft by studying with Sophie Wadsworth, Tom Daley, and others. She is an active participant in the Concord Poetry Group and appreciates the opportunity to share and receive input of fellow writers. Her inspiration comes from her love of being outdoors and frequent walks and exploration of Bedford’s trails and natural beauty. Time spent with her late husband, Carl, at Swan Pond in Maine during their 51 years of marriage is a frequent memory and writing topic.

From Holding On:
In tiny cracks
grass and wildflowers
sprout on rocks
in the middle of Swan Pond.
Even in this hottest of summers –
life clings.

From Swan Pond, Solo:
Our two kayaks yellow and green
Still tethered nose-to-nose
floating in a patch of duckweed
responsive to the motion
of the breeze-rippled pond,
often side by side
now slowly parting, pulling away
then drifting
together again.

With encouragement and technical assistance from her granddaughter, Sara, Feehrer self-published Lake Lessons: Reflections in August 2017. The initial, small print order was designed for family distribution.  However, she has found that several people outside her family have found their way to to place orders. Although Lakes Lessons is her first published collection, she has published selected work in The Aurorean, Avocet, Fine Lines, Still Crazy, Women Outdoors, and in several anthologies.

A long-time Bedford resident, Feehrer is a retired Bedford counselor and elementary school teacher, who always encouraged students to try their hand at poetry. Feehrer volunteers as a Senior Reading tutor at Davis School, practices yoga, loves kayaking, gardening, bird watching, and just being outdoors.

The summer months may find Feehrer working on a second poetry collection, a family history for her brother David. In her summer reading bag, she has included The Great Alone by Kristen Hannah, Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng, and selections from her favorite poets Mary Oliver, Wendell Berry, Jane Kenyon, and more.

Lake Lessons: Reflections is available at

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