Green Alert, Green Poetry

April is National Poetry Month and the month that brings us Earth Day, so what better time to read nature poetry? Poetry has always drawn its tropes and metaphors from the living world, from the cycle of the seasons to the character traits of animals to the powers of the sun, the moon, and the fathomless oceans.

Among today’s nature poets, Mary Oliver presides, and you can’t go wrong with Red Bird or her brand-new collection, Evidence. Pattiann Rogers is another highly accessible and mind-expanding poet of the living world, a writer with a scientific bent. Start with Song of the World Becoming, and move on to Wayfare. Turn to former poet laureate Robert Hass, in Time and Materials, for a bracing view of humankind’s relationship with the rest of nature. And for sheer pleasure veiling crucial insights, do not miss the glimmering beauty of Diane Ackerman’s poetry. Try I Praise My Destroyer.

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Posted in: Likely Stories

About the Author:

Donna Seaman is a senior editor at Booklist. Her radio interviews are collected in Writers on the Air: Conversations about Books (2005).

3 Comments on "Green Alert, Green Poetry"

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  1. Keir says:

    Thanks for the post, Donna. Do you like Gary Snyder? Or do you think he belongs on this list?

  2. Donna says:

    I do indeed think highly of Gary Snyder. This could be a very very long list. We can add Danger on Peaks, or go way back to No Nature.

  3. Donna says:

    Oh, I also considered W. S. Merwin and Jim Harrison.

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