We are halfway through National Poetry Month. After fifteen days of leaning “into the rhythm” of the hearts of these incredible women, I am in awe of the work they have done, but also the work Kathryn Aalto did to create Writing Wild. I am just scratching the surface of their work, their lives, and their stories to gather ideas for these poems. There is so much more to be learned from them.
This is particularly true of today’s featured author, Lauret Savoy. The David B. Truman Professor of Environmental Studies and Geology at Mount Holyoke College (Aalto, p. 152), Savoy brilliantly uses the science of geology, the study of earth’s broken and fragmented history and applies it to her exploration of the American landscape and her place in it. Her award-winning book Trace: Memory, History, Race, and the American Landscape, details painful histories and asks hard questions in an effort to integrate “multiple perspectives into reading landscape and our history in the land.”
To create a poem that could weave these ideas together was daunting. Using many of Lauret’s own words from her writing and this interview on the Kenyon Review Podcast I turned to an acrostic to help me grapple with the expansiveness of Savoy’s ideas.
Tattered truths litter our fractured, fractious landscape.
Recognition of this complexity and unvoiced history,
Attempts to reconcile that beauty and ugliness can
Coexist, that this land existed before hatred, can begin to
Erase boundaries and cultivate a new vision, a new kinship with Earth.
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
Day 7: Rachel Carson
Day 8: Mary Oliver
Day 9: Carolyn Merchant
Day 10: Annie Dillard
Day 11: Gretel Ehrlich
Day 12: Leslie Marmon Silko
Day 13: Diane Ackerman
Day 14: Robin Wall Kimmerer