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  #1  
Unread 07-23-2018, 01:56 PM
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Edward Zuk Edward Zuk is offline
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Default Recommend Some Nature Poetry

Now that summer is here, I find myself hiking through the various parks in and around Vancouver, where I like to bring along a book of poetry to keep me company. Iíve come to realize, though, that outside of haiku, Iím largely unfamiliar with the nature poetry being written today. Iíd like to remedy that as quickly as possible.

For context, Iím decently read in the canon, and so Iím already familiar with Wordsworth, Frost, Clare, Jeffers, Clampitt, medieval lyrics that tell me to ďlhude sing cuccu,Ē and Herrickís daffodils. What Iím looking for is poetry written this millennium, or at least by people who lived into this millennium.

Work by Spherians would be great. Formal poetry is a plus, but Iím open to free verse, too. My only criteria are excellence and availability in English, whether that means in translation or poetry from anywhere in the English-speaking world.

So, any suggestions? Or any thoughts about what's going on with nature poetry is today?
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Unread 07-23-2018, 02:11 PM
Susan McLean Susan McLean is offline
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Here are some names to investigate: Mary Oliver, Maxine Kumin, Linda Pastan, Louise Gluck (The Wild Iris is written in the persona of different flowers). I prefer poetry that is more human-centered than nature-centered, so most of these tend more in that direction. But they do pay close attention to nature at times.

Susan
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Unread 07-23-2018, 02:31 PM
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Edward Zuk Edward Zuk is offline
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Thanks for the recommendations, Susan. I own The Wild Iris but struggle to call it nature poetry because it is so obviously centered around a human relationship. I know of Mary Oliver, but the few poems I've read of hers struck me as being sentimental and unconvincing. I'd be happy to be argued out of this judgement, though.

I have wanted to learn more about Maxine Kumin, so this may spur me to do so. Linda Pastan is new to me. Are there any volumes / standout poems that would be good starting points?
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Unread 07-23-2018, 03:57 PM
john savoie john savoie is offline
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I like early Oliver, which is much more natural, far better than her later more sentimental work.

Try Wendell Berry. His first Sabbath poem is one of my very favorite nature poems. He also is a semi-formalist.
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Unread 07-23-2018, 04:19 PM
Andrew Szilvasy Andrew Szilvasy is offline
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If you can get your hands on poems by Hugh Ogden (a little known CT poet), you can find yourself some good nature poems here and there. His collection Bringing a Fir Straight Down is, IMO, quite good at times, and has some good nature poems.
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Unread 07-23-2018, 04:43 PM
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Michael F Michael F is offline
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I agree Mary Oliver can be sentimental, but at her best, I think she is very, very good. Here's one I can't forget.
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Unread 07-23-2018, 04:56 PM
John Isbell John Isbell is online now
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Hi Edward,

You've probably run into the Scot Edwin Muir, who's from the last century but quite fond of nature. Here's "The Horses":

https://www.poemhunter.com/poem/the-horses/

"The Animals" is also nice.

Cheers,
John

Last edited by John Isbell; 07-23-2018 at 05:10 PM.
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Unread 07-23-2018, 05:34 PM
William Thompson William Thompson is offline
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A.R. Ammons
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  #9  
Unread 07-23-2018, 05:38 PM
John Isbell John Isbell is online now
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That makes me think of W.S. Merwin:

http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps...win/online.htm

Cheers,
John
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Unread 07-23-2018, 06:52 PM
Jim Moonan Jim Moonan is offline
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David Whyte.
He is a naturalist/philosopher-poet. He writes with the heart of Rilke.

Seamus Heaney.
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