Friday, April 16, 2010

Poetry of Earth

Earth Day is April 22nd so in honour of that and also for the fact that April is Poetry Month I have collected some poetry that celebrates nature, spring, and our shared experience of living on this wonderful planet we call Earth.

Poetry is best appreciated when read aloud. So I was very happy to find so many poems performed on Youtube!

The Poetry of Earth Is Never Dead
 by John Keats (1795-1821)

   The poetry of earth is never dead;
When all the birds are faint with the hot sun
And hide in cooling trees, a voice will run
From hedge to hedge about the new-mown mead.
That is the grasshopper’s, – he takes the lead
In summer luxury, – he has never done
With his delights; for, when tired out with fun,
He rests at ease beneath some pleasant weed.
The poetry of earth is ceasing never.
On a lone winter evening, when the frost
Has wrought a silence, from the stove there shrills
 The cricket’s song, in warmth increasing ever,
 And seems, to one in drowsiness half lost,
The grasshopper’s among some grassy hills.

by William Wordsworth (1770-1850)
Don't you just love Jeremy Irons? But what's with the funny hat?
Video by Noxdl.

I have loved the poetry of John Masefield since Gr. 7 when I first read "Trade Winds". He is best known for poetry which speaks of life at sea on a sailing ship, but in this one he is clearly longing for home.
The West Wind
read by the author himself
John Masefield (1878-1967)
Video made by poetryreincarnations
This Youtube channel is a treasure trove of animated pictures of poets reading their works!

Nature poetry can be found in the lyrics of modern songs.
Here is a song that warns people to take better care of the natural world or we might lose it altogether.

Big Yellow Taxi 
words and music by Joni Mitchell (1943-  ),

performed by Counting Crows.
Although I am a great fan of Joni Mitchell, I chose to use the version by Counting Crows, firstly because the visuals suited my theme better, and secondly because I think I think more people would prefer this version. Die-hard Joni fans can still hear her version if they click on the video bar at the end of this video.

John Denver  (1943-1997) was a great nature lover.
His song, Rocky Mountain High
celebrates a special corner of the world that he called home.

WARNING: If you turned up the volume to hear John Denver, get ready to lower the volume for this next video. For some reason it is much louder than the others. (I would hate for anyone to get annoyed by being blasted with the next reader's amazing voice!) And if you are not interested in staring at pictures of Richard Armitage while he reads this poem, just minimize the screen, but don't miss his reading -- the poem is wonderful, and the delivery can't be beat!

Here is a poem from World War II
about guarding the land against the enemy:
Nightwatch for England
by Edward Shanks (1892-1953)
read by Richard Armitage

This is a fanvid by DanielleRCA

By the way, if anyone out there has any information about the poet Edward Shanks I would be very interested. I have become a bit of a fan of his poetry since researching for this post.  (There is very little interesting information that is easily searchable on the net, (so far) or I would have put up a link.)

Here are some other mentions of poetry amongst my blogger buddies.
Nat from Richard Armitage Fan Blog has a couple great limericks.
And Sue from Me + Richard Armitage had a haiku contest!


tyme_4_t said...

Well Done!
I have never written poetry before - well other than in English class in school when required - but with the lovely inspiration of RA & some wonderful help from you (foil the brute) I have written 2 haikus & a limerick!
So I guess Richard Armitage would be my muse...*squee*

Phylly3 said...

Oh yes! He is definitely my muse too! (As I keep saying.) Limericks are not easy to do and yours was great!

Maria Grazia said...

As much as I love and respect poetry and the english language, I won't try to write down any line. Still have to improve my competence. Thanks for this poetic posting and for the RA video I hadn't seen (listened to?) yet.
Have a great weekend, P.!

tyme_4_t said...


Happy Earth Day!!!

Phylly3 said...

Hope you had a Happy Earth Day too tyme_4_t!
Our local Legion hall hosted a community fair with lots of local groups like The Green Committee, Communities in Bloom, The Ministry of Natural Resources, etc. and some local businesses with a "green" focus. I came home with a spider plant, some homemade skin cream, and homemade laundry soap (with a recipe for how to make it), plus a free pen and recycle bin! Pretty good day!

RAFrenzy said...

Great post and I see you saved the best for last! :D

Anonymous said...

Love Masefield. I had memorized "I must go down to the sea again" and repeated it incessantly long before I had ever seen the sea.