5/2/2021 4 Comments
Poet's Petard #4 – May 2021
“Nature is everywhere – so why even mention it?”
Poets have written a lot about this thing called “Nature.” Recently we have nudged “nature poetry” up a notch by calling it “eco-poetry,” and as such, given it a place the human arsenal of possible ways to fend off the Sixth Extinction. I offer here a wee spectrum of attitudes about what possible practical use “nature poetry” can offer our world. The first is my own wry response to Goldsworthy:
Even Wallace Stevens, who seems to live mainly inside his head, was passionate about the earth. “It's an illusion that we were ever alive,” he says, and his solution is to embrace the illusion head on and declare it to be a good thing – So, he suggests a way to resolve the paradox. If “rock” stands for “ultimate nothingness” then yes, nature covers the rock with flowers and leaves, which are impermanent. But contained within the nothingness of illusion is a cure, which he called “the cure of the ground” – (from “The Rock”):
So, he offers a compromise: the poem is the permanence, with its own “leaves,” and with
Again, I offer a lighter bulwark against nothingness, a flock of tiny birds:
And here is James Stephens in his wonderful fantasy novel The Crock of Gold – The speaker is The Thin Woman of Inis Magrath:
(Try it, next time you've conveniently worked yourself into a rage on a clear night when the moon is out.)
And finally, from native American poet Jennifer Elise Foerster:
*And speaking of abandonment, I am grateful to Erik Muller's recent book A New Text of the World: Ways of Looking at the Poetry of Wallace Stevens for drawing my attention again to Stevens, whom I long ago abandoned.
Amanda W Powell
5/2/2021 07:20:04 pm
I love this! But it made me stir in my concrete, now off-kilter & I may have to get up & go outdoors.
5/3/2021 04:02:57 am
"Poetry to fend off the 6th extintion." Oh, if only . . .
5/4/2021 10:24:16 am
Among American poets, Stevens is most invested in providing us with the energy of the cycle of the seasons. We cycle along from the parsimony of winter to the plenitude of summer, each moment with its riches and poverty. A not-so-well-known poem as say"The Snow Man," the later piece "Woman Looking at a Vase of Flowers" traces how color enters the specific vase of flowers or any object. It's a poem of origins and (a word I like) instantiations. Thank you for the stimulating offerings, Anita
5/5/2021 09:11:32 am
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