Here we are again. Thanks for visiting. It's midway through National Poetry Month. Time for Minnesota's first poet laureate, Robert Bly. He has addressed the question of nature poetry in his Recognizing the Image as a Form of Intelligence in which he writes: “We do feel a gap between ourselves and nature. We can remain in the gap, and let the two worlds fall apart farther and remain separate. Or a human being can reach out with his left hand to the world of human intelligence and with the right hand to the natural world, and touch both at the same time…The power that makes us able to touch both is called ‘imagination’.” This concept makes me think of the science demonstration of electricity passing through our bodies from our finger tips to make our hair stand on end. Bly writes prose poems, among other forms. I am particularly fond of prose poems. In honor of National Poetry Month, the ides of April, and Robert Bly himself, here's an apt prose poem for this season. It's from Reaching Out to the World [White Pine Press].
SNOWED IN AGAIN
Snow has been falling for three days. The horses stay in the barn. At four I leave the house, sinking to my waist in snow, and push open the door of my writing shack. Snow falls in. At the desk there is a plant in blossom.
The plant faces the window where snow sweeps past at forty miles an hour. So the snow and the flowers are a little like each other. In both there is the same receiving, the longing to circle slowly upward or sink down toward the roots. Perhaps the snow and the orangey blossoms are both the same flow, that starts out close to the soil, close to the floor, and needs no commandments, no civilizations, no drawing room lifted on the labor of the claw hammer, but is at home where one or two are present.
The two people sit quietly near each other, In the storm, millions of years come close behind us. Nothing is lost, nothing is rejected. The body is ready to sing all night, and be entered by whatever wishes to enter the human body singing.
I had been going to write that Bly's poetry is often more mystical than Snyder's. Fortunately, I stopped before a made a fool of myself. Between them, Bly and Snyder probably have covered the poetics of mysticism, or the mysticism of poetry, from most conceivable, and several inconceivable, angles. If you think SNOWED IN AGAIN misses any of Snyder's new nature poetry points, please comment and note which point or points you think were missed. I think he nailed it, but I'm obviously biased. Thanks for listening, Come again when you can, Rants, raves and reflections served here daily.