During this time of social isolation, when our lives can feel like they’re on hold, many people are finding solace in nature as spring carries on regardless. With less traffic (both road and sky) the air seems fresher, full of bird song and on their daily walks people are discovering patches of wilderness not far from their doorsteps, sometimes in the most urban of areas.
Each year on 22 April, Earth Day takes place, and 2020 sees its 50th anniversary. In 1970 the first Earth Day gave voice to an emerging public consciousness about the state of our planet. To mark Earth Day we’ve been taking a ramble through the nature poems on our website. Poets have a reputation for being attuned to the natural world and some of the best known poems from the English canon are nature poems. From Shakespeare pointing out that his mistress just can’t compete in Sonnet 130: “My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun; / Coral is far more red than her lips' red…” to Wordsworth stumbling upon his: “host, of golden daffodils; / Beside the lake, beneath the trees, / Fluttering and dancing in the breeze”.
A search for Nature poems on our website will lead you to 19th century poets including Gerard Manley Hopkins with ‘God's Grandeur’, Emily Dickinson’s ‘The Sky is low—the Clouds Are Mean’ and Matthew Arnold’s ‘In Harmony with Nature’. You will also find poems for children such as Christina Rossetti’s ‘Hurt No Living Thing’ and Paul Laurence Dunbar’s ‘The Seedling’. But you will also find the contemporary amongst the classics and here are some of our favourites to challenge and inspire you this Earth Day.
Poems on the Underground
the Estate of Paul Peter Piech