Poetry has a way of reaching out to readers on a very personal level and we may find inspiration to read or write our own poems after spending time in nature. Zaro Weil has written an incredible blog about Finding Poetry in Nature. Check out details below about a free online launch event with Zaro!
GLINTS, GLIMMERS, DAZZLES AND GLEAMS
Finding Joy in Poetry and Nature
by Zaro Weil
Let’s say you take a little walk in the park on an October day. National Poetry Day for example. You spot some yellowing leaves. You feel that first cool wind on your face and hear a few birds as they alight on a branch nearby. There are lovely shadows falling from the trees. Aha! Fall is just around the corner and you smile a bit remembering the pleasure of things autumn.
Nature sets off memories. Tugs at emotions. Unleashes the imagination. For somehow, the more our senses gather in from the great outdoors, the more heightened, meaningful and exciting our human experiences can become.
Let’s take kids. They are pretty good at spotting all kinds of things we perhaps miss. Maybe they catch an extra gleam on that yellow leaf and spy its network of dazzling tiny veins when they pick it up. Kids may notice the glimmer of shiny feathers on those birds. And that cool air could remind them of the first bite of a crisp apple. While shadows might create a mysterious castle on the path. And make fanciful spaces to play hopscotch. Or anything else they can dream up.
In other words, extra special rich sensing brings extra special rich rewards. Rewards that include that extra special heart-fluttering and soul-stirring thing we call joy.
Now where does poetry fit into all this?
Poetry is that particular powerful and musical placement of words which can convey something heightened, important and meaningful in the world. Something which, among other things, can also convey that extra special sense of joy.
When I was walking in Kew Gardens, seeing what I could see for When Poems Fall from the Sky, the author in me put on my imaginary speckle-spotting shades. And voila! Magic happened.
I noticed the strange and wonderful shapes of the trees and saw that the spring flowers were as colourful as gumdrops. By now the sun was falling in a million glints onto what seemed like a million shades of green. Before too long I began to super listen. Super look. I became aware of the quiet spaces between the trees, of the wild earth pulsing mysteries under my feet and of the soft din of unseen insects busy doing a million and one things.
As I was walking I found myself slipping quietly outside of my everyday me and my everyday thoughts.
My imagination was waking up. I began to see things in the garden differently. It occured to me that somehow I was part of it all and I began to imagine things from another point of view. Nature’s point of view. I realised that every part of the garden had its own story to tell; from the tiniest seed, to the exuberant flowers, to the great trees and of course, to wondrous mother earth herself.
Later, at my desk, as I began to write this book, I wanted my poetry to try to capture as many of those glints, glimmers, dazzles and gleams as I could remember from my walk in Kew Gardens. And all those other important small things which connect us, young and old, to that exciting surge of joy, imagination and understanding we can experience through the double wonder of poetry and nature.
Illustrations painted by the fantastic artist Junli Song, draw out some of that magical joy we both wanted so very much to include in When Poems fall from the Sky. And, if all you dedicated book lovers put on your own speckle-spotting shades, you can well imagine the fun of all those extra glints, glimmers, dazzles and gleams.
When Poems Fall From the Sky by Zaro Weil illustrated by Junli Song is published by Welbeck Editions in association with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
Views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the Federation.