A Magical Place - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1564658

A Magical Place

Thank you for the encouraging write-up on efforts to establish the Matthiessen Center at the family home of author and naturalist Peter Matthiessen [“Peter Matthiessen’s Former Sagaponack Home Could Become Center For Writing, Conservation, Zen,” 27east.com, November 6].

Mr. Matthiessen was a champion of wildlife the world over and his writings have inspired conservationists for decades. The author’s gifts and deep affection for Sagaponack are on full display in the opening of his “Shorebirds of North America,” written in 1967:

“The pond at Sagaponack, where I live, has its source in the small woodland stream which drains Poxabogue Pond and Little Poxabogue, further inland. From the west windows of my house, a fringe of trees parting the fields winds into view; here Sagg Pond, like a wide meadow river, curls down through miles of warm potato country to the sea. The Long Island farmland fills the landscape to the north and west and spreads toward the southward; Sagg Pond appears again, turned back upon itself by the hard white of the dunes, by the hard blue of the sea horizon. The pond bends like the shank of a great hook; it is now a mile across. But seasonally, in a storm or flood, the pond is open to the sea. Then this lower reach is salt, a place of tidal creek and shallow flat which is today, as it has always been, a haunt of shorebirds.”

I hope the community will support the proposed center and applaud the work of the Peconic Land Trust, Southampton Town and others partnering to restore this worn but still magical East End landscape.

Paul Hagen



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