Tag Archives: Nature

Christmas Bird Count from Santa’s Sleigh

This joyous Scott Bates birdwatching poem imagines Santa’s Blitzen involved in Audubon’s annual tally.

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Love Nature, Love Humans

Biologist-poet David Haskell taught my students to see the world with playful eyes.

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Memories of Summer Hiking in France

This summer poem by Scott Bates brings back childhood memories of hiking in the hills around the Mediterranean.

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Nature Red in Tooth & Claw? Maybe Not

Carleton’s Ian Barbour turned to Tennyson in seeking to find connections between science and religion.

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The Zen of an Old Growth Forest

Biologist David Haskell approaches forests in a way that is both scientific and poetic.

Posted in Blake (William), Emerson (Ralph Waldo), Tennyson (Alfred Lord), Thoreau (Henry David) | Also tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Your One Wild and Precious Life

Mary Oliver’s celebration of summer is a prayer operates as a prayer of gratitude.

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Look into Thine Heart and Write

Longfellow reenacts the Pentecost in this reflection up his changing relationship to nature.

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Dare to Be Happy, Dare to Pray

Mary Oliver finds hope even for those weighed down by the thorn of depression.

Posted in Oliver (Mary) | Also tagged , , , | 3 Comments

A Light Exists in Spring

Emily Dickinson captures magical light of spring–and its transience.

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The Erotic Call of the Pear Tree

Zora Neale Hurston has one of the most erotic descriptions of a blossoming tree that you will find anywhere.

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First Snowfall, A Moment of Grace

For Mary Oliver, the season’s first snow fall raises existential questions and then answers them in its own way.

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My Heart Leapt Up

A rainbow sighting led to a discussion about how humans often turn to nature for guiding metaphors.

Posted in Bible, Blake (William), Wordsworth (William) | Also tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Autumn’s Subterranean Mysteries

Oliver’s “Fall Song” captures the “rich spiced residues” of autumn.

Posted in Oliver (Mary) | Also tagged , , | 5 Comments

Autumn Striptease

As Scott Bates sees it, trees in autumn are involved in a joyous striptease.

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Half in Love with Easeful Death

In his haunting “Ode to a Nightingale,” Keats imagines himself as a homesick Ruth standing “amid the alien corn.”

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Hell Is Empty and All the Devils Are Here

“Sandy” conjures up for me a traumatic childhood reading experience along with a passage from “The Tempest.”

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Hurricanes Make Us All Poor, Infirm, Weak

The onslaught of Hurricane Sandy reminds us of King Lear’s storm experience.

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The Rain Falls Soft as the Fall of Moccasins

Describing the slaughter of the buffalo herds by whites, Mary Oliver draws on Sioux religion to imagine them as not altogether gone.

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An ABC of Radical Ecology

Scott Bates’s ABC of Radical Ecology calls for us to keep fighting to save the environment.

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Beasts of the Southern Wild–Our Future?

“Beasts of the Southern Wild” points to the devastation coastal communities can expect from climate change.

Posted in Beasts of the Southern Wild (film) | Also tagged , | 2 Comments

Summertime and the Living Is Easy

An afternoon spent in a friend’s boat brought to mind Huck and Jim watching the Mississippi River.

Posted in Twain (Mark) | Also tagged , , , | 3 Comments

A Summer Moment of Perfect Being

Li Po’s poem captures the joys of a summer hike in the mountains.

Posted in Po (Li), White (E. B.) | Also tagged , , | 2 Comments

Dream of Wild Horses

French poet Frédéric Mistral dreams of wild horses breaking free of civilization’s fetters.

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A Snake That Refused to Be Used

This Scott Bates looks at Pentecostal snake handlers from the snake’s point of view.

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Yield to the Perfect Whole, Upend Your Life

To find a sense of deep connectedness, Emerson tell us we can’t cling to fragments.

Posted in Emerson (Ralph Waldo) | Also tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

The Day Rabbits Attacked Napoleon

In honor of upcoming Earth Day, I share a poem based on an actual incidents where hundred of rabbits released to be hunted by Napoleon turned on the emperor’s party and routed them.

Posted in Bates (Scott) | Also tagged , , | 2 Comments

Lessons of a Bird Killed by a Window

Encountering a dead bird outside my window, I recalled a Lucille Clifton poem on the subject that draws a powerful social message.

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Far Off the Bells Rang through the Morning

Mary Oliver finds Easter holiness in a new born fawn.

Posted in Oliver (Mary) | Also tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Such Singing in the Wild Branches

On a beautiful spring morning when she is startled by birdsong, Mary Oliver describes a merging with nature where she “began to understand what the bird was saying.”

Posted in Oliver (Mary) | Also tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Depth of Sea, Firmness of Rock, God

The magnificent poet attributed to St. Patrick looks to nature to provide images for God’s strength and support.

Posted in St. Patrick | Also tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Move with the Wind, Sleep under the Snow

Here’s a non-Christmas tree poem by Scott Bates for friends of the environment.

Posted in Bates (Scott) | Also tagged , , | 3 Comments


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