Archives For Nature Poetry

 

meadowlarks

Today marks the anniversary of the death of poet Sara Teasdale.

Teasdale wrote a surprising number of lovely poems about birds. Here are five of our favorites:

These poems can be found in these two volumes, which are available as FREE Kindle ebooks:

Meadowlarks
Sara Teasdale

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“The Sound of the Trees”
Robert Frost

I wonder about the trees.
Why do we wish to bear
Forever the noise of these
More than another noise
So close to our dwelling place?
We suffer them by the day
Till we lose all measure of pace,
And fixity in our joys,
And acquire a listening air.
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“Humanity, Engaged in a
Tightly Knit, Interconnected Creation

A review of
Cloud of Ink: Poems
by L.S. Klatt.

Review by Chris Smith.

CLOUD OF INK - L.S. KlattCloud of Ink: Poems
by L.S. Klatt.
Paperback: U of Iowa Press, 2011.
Buy Now:
[ Amazon ] [ Amazon – Kindle ]

L.S. Klatt’s recent collection of poems Cloud of Ink, a winner of the 2010 Iowa Poetry Prize, is a delightful and far-ranging collection of poems that reflects on, and whimsically revels in, humanity’s place in the deeply-interconnected web of nature. Granted, the poems are rarely straightforward and at times plunge into the surreal.  Consider the lines from which the book’s title is drawn, from the poem “Andrew Wyeth, Painter, Dies at 91”:  “A giant squid rises out of the hayfield, &the barn/ is compassed in tentacles/ then a cloud of ink.”  The same poem is also a fine example of Klatt’s mastery at reappropriating lines and images from other work into his poems; Flannery O’Connor, Emerson, Darwin, Audubon, Picasso and Oliver L. Austin, Jr.’s Birds of the World all supply material with which Klatt deftly weaves together his own images, and the above poem’s title was drawn from Wyeth’s obituary in the New York Times.  I imagine, however, that most readers will – like myself – not be able to pinpoint these reused images until they come to the poet’s notes at the end of the volume.  Klatt excels at forging language into rich, multi-layered images that demand that the reader pause, re-read and reflect on their meanings.  It suffices then to say that these poems require some work, they are like paintings in a gallery, which the viewer might gaze upon for hours on end only to discover a minute detail tucked away in a corner that would escape notice of anyone who gave it a mere moment’s glance.

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On the Grasshopper and the Cricket
John Keats

THE POETRY of earth is never dead:
When all the birds are faint with the hot sun,
And hide in cooling trees, a voice will run

From hedge to hedge about the new-mown mead;
That is the Grasshopper’s—he takes the lead
In summer luxury,—he has never done
With his delights; for when tired out with fun

He rests at ease beneath some pleasant weed.
The poetry of earth is ceasing never:
On a lone winter evening, when the frost
Has wrought a silence, from the stove there shrills

The Cricket’s song, in warmth increasing ever,
And seems to one in drowsiness half lost,
The Grasshopper’s among some grassy hills.


 

THE SADNESS OF THE MOON
by Charles Baudelaire

THE Moon more indolently dreams to-night
Than a fair woman on her couch at rest,
Caressing, with a hand distraught and light,
Before she sleeps, the contour of her breast.

Upon her silken avalanche of down,
Dying she breathes a long and swooning sigh;
And watches the white visions past her flown,
Which rise like blossoms to the azure sky.

And when, at times, wrapped in her languor deep,
Earthward she lets a furtive tear-drop flow,
Some pious poet, enemy of sleep,

Takes in his hollow hand the tear of snow
Whence gleams of iris and of opal start,
And hides it from the Sun, deep in his heart.

THE SADNESS OF THE MOON
by Charles Baudelaire

THE Moon more indolently dreams to-night
Than a fair woman on her couch at rest,
Caressing, with a hand distraught and light,
Before she sleeps, the contour of her breast.

Upon her silken avalanche of down,
Dying she breathes a long and swooning sigh;
And watches the white visions past her flown,
Which rise like blossoms to the azure sky.

And when, at times, wrapped in her languor deep,
Earthward she lets a furtive tear-drop flow,
Some pious poet, enemy of sleep,

Takes in his hollow hand the tear of snow
Whence gleams of iris and of opal start,
And hides it from the Sun, deep in his heart.

 

Spring Thaw
Maureen Doallas
From her book Neruda’s Memoirs
[ Read our review… ]


Heads up:

tiny shoots

break earth’s shell

spring up

from winter’s

bed of dreams

showing us

how to make

a comeback

every time.

 

MARCH
By Emily Dickinson

We like March, his shoes are purple,
He is new and high;
Makes he mud for dog and peddler,
Makes he forest dry;
Knows the adder’s tongue his coming,
And begets her spot.
Stands the sun so close and mighty
That our minds are hot.
News is he of all the others;
Bold it were to die
With the blue-birds buccaneering
On his British sky.

 

Remembrances
By John Clare

[Recommended in the “Commons Canon” Appendix
to Jay Walljasper’s All That We Share: A Field Guide to the Commons.
Read our review above ]

Summer pleasures they are gone like to visions every one
And the cloudy days of autumn and of winter cometh on
I tried to call them back but unbidden they are gone
Far away from heart and eye and for ever far away
Dear heart and can it be that such raptures meet decay
I thought them all eternal when by Langley Bush I lay
I thought them joys eternal when I used to shout and play
On its bank at ‘clink and bandy’ ‘chock’ and ‘taw’ and ducking stone
Where silence sitteth now on the wild heath as her own
Like a ruin of the past all alone

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“Afternoon in February”
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
[ Found in Free Kindle eBook:
The Complete Poems of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
]

The day is ending,
The night is descending;
The marsh is frozen,
The river dead.

Through clouds like ashes
The red sun flashes
On village windows
That glimmer red.

The snow recommences;
The buried fences
Mark no longer
The road o’er the plain;

While through the meadows,
Like fearful shadows,
Slowly passes
A funeral train.

The bell is pealing,
And every feeling
Within me responds
To the dismal knell;

Shadows are trailing,
My heart is bewailing
And tolling within
Like a funeral bell.

 

Winter Walk
John Clare

The holly bush, a sober lump of green,
Shines through the leafless shrubs all brown and grey,
And smiles at winter be it e’er so keen
With all the leafy luxury of May.
And oh, it is delicious, when the day
In winter’s loaded garment keenly blows
And turns her back on sudden falling snows,
To go where gravel pathways creep between
Arches of evergreen that scarce let through
A single feather of the driving storm;
And in the bitterest day that ever blew
The walk will find some places still and warm
Where dead leaves rustle sweet and give alarm
To little birds that flirt and start away.