Monday, August 17, 2015

Izaak Walton

Izaak Walton (1593—1683) is a writer with the temperament of a fly fisherman. He wrote brief biographies of such writers as John Donne, and George Herbert which were collected into a volume often referred to as Walton's Lives. He is best known for his book The Compleat Angler — first published in 1653, but casually amended throughout the remainder of his life.

He was born in Strafford, but by 1614 he had an Ironmonger's shop in London's Fleet Street. During this time he became a verger and church warden, becoming a close friend of the vicar John Donne.

In 1644 he moved to a rural property he had purchased along a riverbank. It's been said that the last forty years of his life were spent visiting eminent clergymen and others who enjoyed fishing.

Lines On A Portrait Of Donne In His Eighteenth Year

This was for youth, Strength, Mirth, and wit that Time
Most count their golden Age; but t'was not thine.
Thine was thy later years, so much refined
From youth's Dross, Mirth & wit; as thy pure mind
Thought (like the Angels) nothing but the Praise
Of thy Creator, in those last, best Days.
Witness this Book, (thy Emblem) which begins
With Love; but ends, with Sighs, & Tears for sins.

Entry written by D.S. Martin. His latest poetry collection, Conspiracy of Light: Poems Inspired by the Legacy of C.S. Lewis, is available from Wipf & Stock as is his earlier award-winning collection, Poiema.