Archives For Nature Writing

 

Liberty_Hyde_Bailey

If you like Wendell Berry’s poetry, you should familiarize yourself with the poems of nature writer Liberty Hyde Bailey!

Bailey was one of the most prominent American botanists and horticulturalists of the early twentieth century.  He was also an agrarian writer whose work inspired Wendell Berry and one of the fathers of the Country Life Movement, and yes, also a nature poet.

Yesterday was Bailey’s birthday, and in honor of the occasion, we marked down our edition of his collection of poems to 99c for Kindle!
(This is a limited time offer and a great chance to familiarize yourself with his wonderful poetry!)

Wind and Weather: Poems

Liberty Hyde Bailey

with an introductory essay
by C. Christopher Smith
co-author of Slow Church

Kindle edition:  [ Get it now for 99c! ]

 
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“An Old Man’s Winter Night”
Robert Frost

All out of doors looked darkly in at him
Through the thin frost, almost in separate stars,
That gathers on the pane in empty rooms.

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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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“Summer Wind”
William Cullen Bryant

[ Download FREE Kindle Ebook of Bryant’s Poetry ]

It is a sultry day; the sun has drank
The dew that lay upon the morning grass,
There is no rustling in the lofty elm
That canopies my dwelling, and its shade
Scarce cools me.

All is silent, save the faint
And interrupted murmur of the bee,
Settling on the sick flowers, and then again
Instantly on the wing.

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The Summer Rain
Henry David Thoreau

My books I’d fain cast off, I cannot read,
‘Twixt every page my thoughts go stray at large
Down in the meadow, where is richer feed,
And will not mind to hit their proper targe.
Plutarch was good, and so was Homer too,
Our Shakespeare’s life were rich to live again,
What Plutarch read, that was not good nor true,
Nor Shakespeare’s books, unless his books were men.

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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.

 

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“The Constant Presence of Water

A review of
In Earshot of Water:
Notes from the Columbia Plateau
.
By Paul Lindholdt.

Reviewed by Sam Edgin.

[ Read an excerpt of this book… ]

IN EARSHOT OF WATER - Paul LindholdtIn Earshot of Water:
Notes from the Columbia Plateau
.
Paul Lindholdt.
Paperback: U. of Iowa Press, 2011.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]

I sit here and I type away with my thoughts shifting every now and then towards the steady flow of Indiana’s White River, not four blocks east of my window. I fault Paul Lindholdt. His new book, In Earshot of Water: Notes From the Columbia Plateau revels in a constant presence of water, be it fresh, contaminated, frozen, still or flowing. Yet the book is not really about water. It is about conservation, about the last strongholds of American wilderness in the Pacific Northwest clinging dearly to the land they have held for centuries in the wake of industry, development,and technology. Sometimes it is even about the way they win. Lindholdt dances softly through his essays, often mirroring his considerations of the natural with events in his own life which bring him close to it. It is a subtly beautiful exploration into the relationship of humanity with ecology, all told in deeply personal prose, as if the reader were sitting beside Lindholdt’s sons for the campfire story times he mentions throughout the book.

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The Sleep of Spring
John Clare.

O for that sweet, untroubled rest
That poets oft have sung!—
The babe upon its mother’s breast,
The bird upon its young,
The heart asleep without a pain—
When shall I know that sleep again?

When shall I be as I have been
Upon my mother’s breast
Sweet Nature’s garb of verdant green
To woo to perfect rest—
Love in the meadow, field, and glen,
And in my native wilds again?

The sheep within the fallow field,
The herd upon the green,
The larks that in the thistle shield,
And pipe from morn to e’en—
O for the pasture, fields, and fen!
When shall I see such rest again?

I love the weeds along the fen,
More sweet than garden flowers,
For freedom haunts the humble glen
That blest my happiest hours.
Here prison injures health and me:
I love sweet freedom and the free.

The crows upon the swelling hills,
The cows upon the lea,
Sheep feeding by the pasture rills,
Are ever dear to me,
Because sweet freedom is their mate,
While I am lone and desolate.

I loved the winds when I was young,
When life was dear to me;
I loved the song which Nature sung,
Endearing liberty;
I loved the wood, the vale, the stream,
For there my boyhood used to dream.

There even toil itself was play;
Twas pleasure e’en to weep;
Twas joy to think of dreams by day,
The beautiful of sleep.
When shall I see the wood and plain,
And dream those happy dreams again?

 

An excerpt from the lovely new book

In Earshot of Water:
Notes from the Columbia Plateau
.
Paul Lindholdt.
Paperback: U. of Iowa Press, 2011.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]

[ Read our review above… ]

 

Out of May’s Shows Selected
Walt Whitman

Apple orchards, the trees all cover’d with blossoms;
Wheat fields carpeted far and near in vital emerald green;
The eternal, exhaustless freshness of each early morning;
The yellow, golden, transparent haze of the warm afternoon sun;
The aspiring lilac bushes with profuse purple or white flowers.