National Poetry Month: Writing Wild, Day 7

Rachel Carson, today’s profiled author, hardly needs an introduction. She is “a monumental figure in the 20th century and founder of the modern environmental movement.” Of Carson’s Silent Spring, historian Jill Lepore noted that “the number of books that have done as much good in the world can be counted on the arms of a starfish.”

I worry that we’re forgetting the lessons of Silent Spring, that we’ve substituted other pernicious insecticides for DDT. Fighting back against large chemical companies feels impossible. Maybe this project is really just one way for me to try.

Today’s poem if a fib. Fibs are based on the Fibonacci sequence, which predicts patterns in nature. This form seemed appropriate for a poem based on the work of a woman who wrote extensively about how “earth’s vegetation and its animal life have been molded by the environment.” (Silent Spring, p. 16) To create this fib, I chose words at random from page 16 and 17 of Silent Spring. Then, following a syllable count to match, then mirror, the Fibonacci sequence, arranged them into a (hopefully) meaningful sequence.

Earth,
air,
river
alchemy
supports the balance,
powers earth’s enduring nature.

Man’s assault alter’s life’s habits,
modifies the chain,
alarming
forests,
soil,
rain.

Draft, © 2021, Catherine Flynn

Previous Writing Wild posts:

Day 1: Dorothy Wordsworth
Day 2: Susan Fenimore Cooper
Day 3: Gene Stratton-Porter
Day 4: Mary Austin
Day 5: Vita Sackville-West
Day 6: Nan Shepherd

23 thoughts on “National Poetry Month: Writing Wild, Day 7

  1. I think you did a terrific job, Catherine. I am going to use your ideas this month as writing prompts. Maybe not choosing the same women as my inspiration but certainly the forms and examples will be some terrific mentors. PS Her house in Maine is near where we stay and a friend there has told me she will take it and show me. (She has a key and watches over things for the family….or did.)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A fib poem is perfect for Rachel Carson. She’s one of my faves, btw. The spare form brings the large and emotional (for many of us)words right to the front…assault, alarming…so close to the precious natural world. I like how you’ve done this.

    Liked by 1 person

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