I missed my mark — Earth Day, April 22, 2023 — with this post extolling the poetry of earth. It was germinal then, and it remains germinal today (albeit marginally more mature?)
Sometimes a seed germinates with exuberance, practically exploding into existence as if overcome with the glory of imminent bloom and fruit. Other times a seed lingers dormant — cautious or reticent or simply, inexplicably vigorless — for so long that its potential is overlooked, obscured by the foliage and flowers and harvest of its neighbors.
And through it all nature’s song endures. Just when we are lulled into torpid tranquility it swells in symphonic crescendo.
“The poetry of earth is never dead.” — John Keats, “On the Grasshopper and Cricket” (Source: Poetry Foundation)
Often a blog post is sketched out with a few simple strokes that distill the essence for what I expect to write about. A mini map yo I de ate my route. As I develop the post, filling in the voids, perhaps adding texture and color and context, I approach the anticipated narrative scope. Upon arriving at my destination I publish and share. But exploring a preliminary sketch or fleshing out a rough outline sometimes occasionally renders surprises. Wayward adventures lurk in the most unlikely places. I plan to take journey A, but I end up taking journey B.
And then there are the posts that linger dormant. A seed is planted, but it doesn’t leap to life. Perhaps the ground is still too cold, the earth isn’t sufficiently fertile, or the rain and sun remain elusive. A sketch, an outline, a map. Perhaps even a journey — or several journeys — but they are abbreviated and fruitless. False starts.
It is wise on these occasions to move on. Maybe circle back in the future. Try again. Or compost the effort that it might fertilize another seed. For this is the wisdom of nature and the gardener. This is the poetry of earth.
My mind meanders from Pollyanna printemps — nature reaching and bursting, reinvigorating all that withered and laid dormant these frosty days and nights of winter — to autumn’s harvest. Symphonic crescendo and resounding applause. Such success and such succession. Sweet reward and bitter decline. Decadence and decay.
This seasonal swan song’s poignance is the marriage of expiry and infinity, waning and immortality.
As when winter succumbs
to spring’s tender caresses,
thawing and refreezing,
thawing and refreezing,
melting into muddy mess,
then gathering composure,
tendril toward the sun
begins to warm, to green,
toward foliage and
flower and fruit and… fall.
The poetry of earth is a consoling refrain. It is a reminder that beginnings end and endings seed new beginnings. Out of the mud, a sprout. From the sprout a life full of wonder and another generation of seeds.
“The poetry of earth is ceasing never…” — John Keats, “On the Grasshopper and Cricket” (Source: Poetry Foundation)
Keats’ poem delivers where I have come up short. Perhaps grasshoppers and crickets and birds lend themselves more willingly to the poetry of nature. Perhaps not. Perhaps this still muddled effort is destined for the compost where it’s decomposition will enrich a subsequent effort to compose this song of seasonality that so far eludes me. To convey the tragic beauty, and the profoundly consoling inspiration of the poetry of nature…