Wow. I came home from work and am delighted to see that the collected wisdom of the Sphere has come through.
Thanks to everyone who replied. I see that I will have to look more carefully at Mary Oliverís work, or at least her early work. The poem linked to by Michael is better than the others Iíve seen by her, but even there the clichťd ending about letting what you love go free is disappointing. Wendell Berry sounds very intriguing, and Iíll have to look up the half dozen poets whose names are new to me.
I know the work of Heaney and Walcott and think of their voices as having been formed much earlier, even though both wrote well until near the end of their lives. I see that Walcottís White Egrets
is well thought of.
What Iím hoping is that someone will point me to newer emerging poets who are writing (or have the potential to write) the Tintern Abbey
or Cooperís Hill
of our age.
For context, I love the work of Amy Clampitt, and poems like The Cormorant in its Element
and The Winter Bird
are truly great. My favourite nature poem by hers is A Hermit Thrush
, with its view of nature as constantly wounded and patching itself and making do. The nature poem with the greatest influence on me, though, is Corsons Inlet
by A.R. Ammons, with its view of nature as ever-changing and defying categorization. Itís a view of nature as chaos theory and a poetics at the same time.
It bothered me that I couldnít name any poems from the last 20 years that have affected me in that way, and that I was ignorant of whatís happening now. So thank-you for your suggestions, and I hope that the recommendations will keep coming.