I enjoyed and appreciate your Mythblast in its calm motion of poetry, and earth in motion, in harmony. It captures the spirit of poetry so well and is reflected in how it embodies a poem in that it even reads poetically. While I spent a few days thinking on your Mythblast before responding, it was serendipity when in my inbox I found an article on “Waking Up: David Whyte on the Power of Poetry and Silence as Portal to Presence.” From there I followed the links within that article that offered more about poetry from several poets.
Really great poems have been written about connection between poetry and the earth, from the old world notions of earth religions/spiritualities and those that are resurgences of these today, and earth-cosmos, and also in lieu of saving the earth.
Then there is the famous and beloved Mary Oliver with her beloved nature poems, many that read like soothing nature meditations. For those that are not soothing, there is the reality of the violence of nature like the tornado in the film The Wizard of Oz.
Some of Campbell’s famous quotes come to my mind here such as the one about participating in the sorrows of the world and another on how life feeds off life:
“Life lives on life. This is the sense of the symbol of the Ouroboros, the serpent biting its tail. Everything that lives lives on the death of something else. Your own body will be food for something else. Anyone who denies this, anyone who holds back, is out of order. Death is an act of giving.”–quote retrieved from Goodreads.
How poetry can help change the world: political poems. Poetry can be an “acceptable” place for people/poets to air their politics, such as did Pulitzer Prize winning Carolyn Forche’s work. The New York Times reported that her work,
Taken together, Forché’s five books of verse—the most recent, “In the Lateness of the World” (Penguin Press), was published in March—are about action: memory as action, vision and writing as action. She asks us to consider the sometimes unrecognized, though always felt, ways in which power inserts itself into our lives and to think about how we can move forward with what we know. History—with its construction and its destruction—is at the heart of “In the Lateness of the World.” In “Museum of Stones,” the first poem in the book, Forché’s delicate but hawklike observations show us the broken dreams and false idols that are left in the wake of violence, folly, and time. She also shows how to pick our way through that detritus to search for clues as to who we were or might have been.
Maybe not just one poem can change the world, but each poem helps. There has always been the “saying” among poets that accompanies many a sigh that poets do not really write for the public they imagine, but that poets write mostly for other poets, meaning those who actually like and care about poetry enough to care about reading it. Once the printing press was invented and more and more people learned to read, poetry, along with fiction, used to be a wide source of entertainment before TV came along. Poems and fiction stories and plays were often read over the radio. When TV and modernism came along, fewer and fewer people followed poetry and by now we “follow” loads of pages on Facebook or other online places and faces. I think that during the election of Joe Biden for president (and this is not a political statement but simply one on poetry: We can all help poetry help the world by facilitating our own exposure to it and by exposing other to it such as the Poet Laurate reciting her poem at the inaugeration where many people would hear poetry. Just letting people be aware of it helps poetry change the world.
In earlier times poetry did change the world when Druids required that in order to ascend into the higher orders of Druidism that the new Druid had to first earn the title of “Bard;” the onset Druid would have to learn well an instrument and the tradition and craft of poetry. Poetry like music was considered a craft and it was, like music sacred. These are ways in ancient times that poetry (and music) could change the world being that it was so highly regarded as to be sacred.
*Artists, writers, and poets, filmmakers, dancers, musicians, all the arts, have all been said, for centuries, to carry the voice of the society in which they live–the zeitgeist.
Thank you, Christina, for a softer, gentler approach to such a lovely topic.