Sunday, 23 of October of 2016

Gyorgyi Voros – Forest Orison


“In the summer of 1903, just before he turned twenty-four, Wallace Stevens joined a six-week hunting expedition to the wilderness of British Columbia. The adventure profoundly influenced his conceptions of language and silence, his symbolic geography, and his sensibilities toward wild nature as nonhuman other.

The rugged western mountains came to represent that promontory of experience – green’s green apogee – against which Stevens would measure the reality of all his later perceptions and conceptions and by which he would judge the purpose and value of works of the human imagination.

Notations of the Wild views his poetry as a radical reimagining of the nature/culture dialectic and a reinstatement of its forgotten term – Nature. Gyorgyi Voros focuses on three governing metaphors in Stevens’ poems – Nature as house, Nature as body, and Nature as self.

Alaskan-Brown-Bear-640x400She argues that Stevens’ youthful wilderness experience yielded his primary subject – the relationship between human beings and nonhuman nature – and that it spurred his shift from a romantic to a phenomenological understanding of nature.

Most important, it prompted him to reject his culture’s narrow humanism in favor of a singular vision that in today’s terms would be deemed ecological.” Notations of the Wild

Forest Orison

Whoever spoke to me first—
rock, wind, bird, or fir—whoever broke
ancient_forest_by_yunhyunjungthe membrane of silence
(I watched its tatters waft like
rags of albumen in water)
whoever made skin skin, not
air, not fur, not sand, not fiber,
whoever uprooted me from the soil
of nothing, whacked breath into me,
unleashed my voice, I ask you now:
Come back.

I know you’re there. I see
your hoofprints in muck, your
signature in torn tree bark, hear
your rowdy scuffle as I walk by.

The leaves Sway. Where you’ve nested
the pressed grass cups form without
substance. Smack in my path
your scat sings its small joke:
blackness riddled with seed and sign.

I’ve heard you breathing softly
snuffling to smell my smell
moving near and ever away.
Your tail has flicked fire on the path
before me, your shape assembled
from deep within the patterned trees,
then come apart. In the rain
in the brisk sigh of ice on the river.

I’ve heard your voices.
When I call, you answer with
a whoosh and shut of air,
and ringing silence.
I ask again and will again:
Come back.

From Ecopoetry Anthology

Letitia Elizabeth Landon – Oak

From Wikipedia: “Her reputation, while high in the 19th century, fell during most of the 20th as literary fashions changed and Landon’s poetry was perceived as overly simple and sentimental. In recent years, however, scholars and critics have increasingly studied her work, beginning with Germaine Greer in the 1970s.

Critics such as Isobel Armstrong argue that the supposed simplicity of poetry such as Landon’s is deceptive, and that women poets of the 19th century often employed a method of writing which allows for multiple, concurrent levels of meaning. …Any assessment should not forget the factors that brought Landon to pre-eminence: the originality of her ideas and the sheer beauty of her poetry in all its many diverse forms. Those ideas engendered a whole new school of poetry (the ‘Landon School’), which spread not only in England but also in America.””

. . . It is the last survivor of a race
silton-oak-1Strong in their forest-pride when I was young.
I can remember when, for miles around,
In place of those smooth meadows and corn-fields,
There stood ten thousand tall and stately trees,
Such as had braved the winds of March, the bolt
Sent by the summer lightning, and the snow
Heaping for weeks their boughs. Even in the depth
Of hot July the glades were cool; the grass,
Yellow and parched elsewhere, grew long and fresh,
Shading wild strawberries and violets,
Or the lark’s nest; and overhead the dove
Had her lone dwelling, paying for her home
With melancholy songs; and scarce a beech
Was there without a honeysuckle linked
Around, with its red tendrils and pink flowers;
Or girdled by a brier-rose, whose buds
Yield fragrant harvest for the honey-bee
There dwelt the last red deer, those antler’d kings . . .
But this is as dream,—the plough has pass’d
Where the stag bounded, and the day has looked
On the green twilight of the forest-trees.
This oak has no companion! . . . .

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