Monday, April 13, 2009

Can Poetry Save the Earth?

'Hearing Your Words...', April 10, 2009 ·

Hearing your words, and not a word among them
Tuned to my liking, on a salty day
When inland woods were pushed by winds that flung them
Hissing to leeward like a ton of spray,
I thought of how off Matinicus the tide
Came pounding in, came running through the Gut,
While from the Rock the warning whistle cried,
And children whimpered, and the doors blew shut;
There in the autumn when the men go forth,
With slapping skirts the island women stand
In gardens stripped and scattered, peering north,
With dahlia tubers dripping from the hand:
The wind of their endurance, driving south,
Flattened your words against your speaking mouth.

From an interview with John Felstiner, professor of poetry at Stanford, on NPR's Morning Edition. Felstiner has a collection of poems about the natural world.

"If poems touch our full humanness, can they quicken awareness and bolster respect for this ravaged resilient earth we live on?" writes John Felstiner in Can Poetry Save the Earth?

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