HAPPY EARTH DAY! To celebrate, the theme this week will be none other than nature herself. Such a vast and copious muse she can be. One often only need sit in an open field or in the shady wood for a few minutes, with pen and paper in hand, before words start to flow like clear river streams down rugged mountainsides.
Nature has been inspiring great art since the dawn of time and has engaged the mind of the human heart since our humble beginnings. The influence of nature on the arts can be seen in the first strokes of creativity upon the walls of the caves occupied by our ancestors. Follow the link below to read a brief and intriguing article on this.
Art and nature, especially when moving together, can have an impact far beyond the perspective of one single human life. One of the earliest American naturalists was John Muir. John Muir's poetic voice, which conveyed the beauty of the natural world, inspired Theodore Roosevelt. It can be said that the poetic voice, writing, and life of John Muir is part of the reason for nationally protected areas of land called National Parks, which Theodore Roosevelt helped to establish.
This is the power of poetry. This is the power of nature, which waits patiently to inspire the heart of humankind. This week, be inspired! Immerse yourself in that which surrounds you and with that which is flowing through you! Bring a pen and paper and post what you see and find right here! To get those natural juices flowing, here are a few examples, two from John Muir and one from Mary Oliver. Both of whom are wonderful speakers for the natural world.
by John Muir
Here is calm so deep, grasses cease waving._________________________________
Everything in wild nature fits into us,
as if truly part and parent of us.
The sun shines not on us but in us.
The rivers flow not past, but through us,
thrilling, tingling, vibrating every fiber and cell
of the substance of our bodies,
making them glide and sing.
The trees wave and the flowers bloom
in our bodies as well as our souls,
and every bird song, wind song,
and; tremendous storm song of the rocks
in the heart of the mountains is our song,
our very own, and sings our love.
Walk with Nature
by John Muir
Let children walk with nature,
let them see the beautiful blending,
communions of death and life,
their joyous inseparable unity,
as taught in woods and meadows,
plains and mountains and streams.
And they will learn that death is stingless.
And as beautiful as life.
Such Singing in the Wild Branches
by Mary Oliver
It was spring
and finally I heard him
among the first leaves-
then I saw him clutching the limb
in an island of shade
with his red-brown feathers
all trim and neat for the new year.
First, I stood still
and thought of nothing.
Then I began to listen.
Then I was filled with gladness-
and that's when it happened,
when I seemed to float,
to be, myself, a wing or a tree-
and I began to understand
what the bird was saying,
and the sands in the glass
for a pure white moment
while gravity sprinkled upward
like rain, rising,
and in fact
it became difficult to tell just what it was that was singing-
it was the thrush for sure, but it seemed
not a single thrush, but himself, and all his brothers,
and also the trees around them,
as well as the gliding, long-tailed clouds
in the perfectly blue sky- all, all of them
And, of course, yes, so it seemed,
so was I.
Such soft and solemn and perfect music doesn't last
for more than a few moments.
It's one of those magical places wise people
like to talk about.
One of the things they say about it, that is true,
is that, once you've been there,
you're there forever.
Listen, everyone has a chance.
Is it spring, is it morning?
Are there trees near you,
and does your own soul need comforting?
Quick, then- open the door and fly on your heavy feet; the song
may already be drifting away.
(Please remember we are asking for original poetry only. By submitting work for this project you attest that you are the original creator and owner of the intellectual property. Further, by submitting entries you license the Round Rock Library to include those entries into its published compilation, sales of which will benefit the Friends of the Round Rock Public Library. We thank you for sharing your creativity.)