Eco Poetry


In this poetry class—a yearlong school of the Earth and the stars—we will consider the great organism Gaia of which we are a part. We will read the long and rich tradition of poetry addressing itself to this subject, from the early indigenous peoples, through the Zen monks and Wordsworth, right up through Gary Snyder, and to utterly contemporary poets such as Brenda Hillman and Chase Twichell. We will consider the Earth and the fullness thereof. We will take field trips, watch films, study trees and plants, and listen to birdsong. We will write a poem a week, read, meet together in poetry dates, observe and learn. By the end of the class, my hope is that each of us will have a greater understanding of the great organism we call Earth and will have a collection of poems that somehow sing to it and to the questions that our class raises: What is time? What is death? What is Eden? Where is the garden now? Who are the other animals? What is a star? What is occurring right now in the deep ocean? What does it mean that everything seems to eat everything? (Again) What is death? What is time? Which bird is that singing right now?