At the time To Touch the Water was published, Gretel Ehrlich was a filmmaker, essayist, editor, cow- and sheepherder, part of both the West and New York, as well as a poet. The poems here speak deeply of personal experience. They are portraits of the people who have pressed their lives on hers; strong open images of the landscapes that are the West, complete with storms, drought, sun and wind; love poems as large and grainy as the landscapes. Death is never far away. Although her poems are personal in detail, they speak to all about the truths love and life hold.
Ehrlich, Gretel, "To Touch The Water" (1981). Ahsahta Press. 20.