Nature-esque: Poetry & Environment

Nature is no longer the rustic retreat of the Wordsworthian poet. … [it] is now a a question of survival.

Jay Parini, Poems for a Small Planet: Contemporary American Nature Poetry

Can poetry offer another perspective for us to take action and get more environmentally conscious?

We are switching to natural, organic and vegan cosmetic products, we realize the importance of causing less harm to our planet and our health. We understand how vital it is to educate each other and take care of the environment. We buy less by investing in better products and supporting businesses who care about the planet.

We have been connected to the beauty of nature, a word and scent. Instead of showing how dreadful the world might look like, we are trying to show how wonderful the world would be if we got more connected to ourselves and botanicals used in each scent through verse.

Aesthetics offers hope, encourages, makes us respect and appreciate the surroundings. In the end we all depend on nature, we all depend on Earth. Let’s take another perspective, let’s each become an activist by reducing our impact and raising awareness, through the art of a word.

We have made a list of articles on nature, ecopoetry and authors which you might want to read these days.

Can Poems Inspire Action on Climate Change? This New Anthology Is Hopeful.

“Poetry is moving and touching in a way that dry facts are not,” Coleman says. “You can reach people’s hearts. If you tell someone about the hell we’re heading towards, people just despair. They become indifferent. It’s too big. It seems very different when you talk about ‘the polar bear drifting out of history on a wedge of melting ice,’” as a poem by Paul Guest puts it.

Why Ecopoetry?

Ecopoetry is nature poetry that has designs on us, that imagines changing the ways we think, feel about, and live and act in the world. If an ecopoem is only a postmodern or a contemporary nature poem, why ecopoetry?

Poetry & Climate Change

Between 2013 and 2016, The Poetry Society worked with Cape Farewell, an international not-for-profit organisation set up to instigate a cultural response to climate change. Together we created the Switch: Youth Poetics programme, which resulted in some remarkable poetry from young writers, and a number of short films.

Poetry Foundation Collection of Eco Poetry

Distinct from nature poetry, environmental poetry explores the complicated connections between people and nature, often written by poets who are concerned about our impact on the natural world. Poets today are serving as witnesses to climate change while bringing attention to important environmental issues and advocating for preservation and conservation.

Mary Oliver and the Nature-esque

There’s a mental manipulation to Oliver’s rhapsody, a mesmeric quality, as though by conjuring these organic elements, she leaves her readers vulnerable to hypnotic suggestion. Do you feel relaxed? Are you ready for nature? But you miss a lot by allowing the large language to overshadow the more muted connective tissue. Paying such crude attention will not grant you the fortifying effects Oliver has to offer. It would be like receiving a souvenir postcard in the mail, staring at it, and appreciating the picturesque photograph, but never bothering to read the note or look at the return address, which of course is the entire point. And in Mary Oliver’s work, each lovely vista has a sender; it is signed. Nature, she seems to be saying, is a place for people.

Kamila AubreComment