April is National Poetry Month and April 22nd is also Earth Day. Reflecting on the day today, I can’t help but think about all of the writers that have been inspired by nature: Robert Frost, William Wordsworth, Alfred Lord Tennyson, John Keats, Robert Burns, Emily Dickinson, William Shakespeare – the list can go on and on.
I myself am a writer who is continuously inspired by nature and truly, without the beauty of the forests, meadows, oceans, and animals to reflect upon, my inspiration would be taken away. Though not everyone desires to write about the natural world, I have yet to find a writer who has not at one point been inspired by nature in some way or another throughout their writing journey.
As writers, I believe it’s important for us to continue to delve into nature; to praise it poetically, to describe it’s beauty, awesomeness, and inspiration. Our planet needs us more than ever, and we as artists have the gift to inspire and move others into action. Here’s some ways that you can help save the planet, one word at a time:
Read nature-focused fiction and non-fiction pieces. Delve into those poems on the awesomeness of nature that were written during the Romantic Era. Read Silent Spring, A Walk in the Woods, H is for Hawk, Gorillas in the Mist, etc. No better place to start then reading the same types of work that you are interested in writing.
Observe. Go to the park or your backyard. Notice the small things, the details of nature so often overlooked in the rush of life such as the intricacies of the feathers of a bird, the veins in a leaf, the spider’s web – each is a potential for inspiration and new discovery.
Take action. Plant a community garden, fight for environmental rights and legislation, fundraise, participate in clean ups, etc. It’s hard to only write about the beauty of the earth without caring for it first. Take the time to care for your living and breathing home.
Message. What’s the message of your piece? Keep the answer in mind as you craft your work.
Get your work out there! Below are a list of publications that accept nature works of various styles. Check them out!
Center for Humans and Nature: http://www.humansandnature.org/
The Goose: http://scholars.wlu.ca/thegoose/
Orion Magazine: https://orionmagazine.org/
The Fourth Rive: http://www.thefourthriver.com/