Her mother did not approve: “Why, she demanded, did we want to sequester ourselves from the vibrant social and intellectual life greater Boston offered? What was wrong with us?” But Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Maxine Kumin and the rest of her family were not deterred—they bought an old farmhouse in New Hampshire as a weekend getaway. For 50 years, Kumin cultivated poems as she watched woodchucks destroying their garden, took frigid swims in the pond, went on skiing expeditions, and rambled beside old stone walls. This piece is the first of a two-part autobiographical essay by Kumin, who died February 6, 2014. The second, “The Making of PoBiz Farm,” appeared in the Spring 2014 issue of the SCHOLAR.