Saturday, June 11, 2005

Writing about nature

There's something about it. Every poet does it, sooner or later. And it's amazing how a whole long poem can be constructed, often a lovely long poem, around something simple like a bird at the edge of a creek. There need be no connection with the poet - her marriage, the death of her parents, births, hurts, struggles. Just that bird, maybe a twig, a stone beneath the ripplets of stream.

So here's the thing. Why can't we do the same thing with things not of nature. But not of marriage, death, birth, hurts and struggles either. Just things. I thought it might be the way we talk of nature. So can we talk that way of things? Like

Books stacked, waiting for the hearth


Music blows down the hall
lifts sleeve and skirt like August

I don't really mean 'machine' things. In fact, I don't know what I mean! Lets look at this (Poetry Daily, Daniel Wolff)

In caves created by waves of wild rose
small furry babes croon through
their first summer of perfume and excess

and so on. This poem applies human qualities to nature. 'furry babes croon' and 'perfume' and 'excess' . Can we apply nature's qualities to human things without ever using a 'nature' noun or similie . Without ever saying her dress was like a cloud or he entered her like a fish.

My point - I feel such pressure to write about nature but what about the streets and the bike racks and the white white aisles of the supermarket, the 12 different kinds of barbeques lined up like whores at the front of the mall, the 4 non-working dvd players I have stacked in my garage, remotes perched reproachfully on their nest of wires. You can read about it in novels, short stories, and in prose, but rarely in good poetry. Its gotta be moon, and stars and those creeks and birds, the gull falling to the beach, the skin of the sea.

So now, can you feel it? How fulfilling was reading about the remote, and how fulfilling was reading about the gull and the skin of the sea? Nature has it, man - has some kind of spellbinding thing that won't let us go.

What exactly am i saying? What's the challenge? Write a 'nature' poem that does not refer to anything from nature and make it spellbinding - what is it all the journals say they want? Oh yeah, make it 'resonate' lol


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The challenge is your own. Perhaps to spread your "wings" and explore other avenues in writing. And you will.

1:59 PM  

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