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Photo by Cayla Stephenson: The College Woods on a winter day
There's a long tradition of poetry inspired by nature. Most familiar are the English Romantic poets led by William Wordsworth, John Keats, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Percy Bysshe Shelley. Their sense of the mystical and spiritual in nature is certainly one way in which poets have addressed the natural world, but not the only way. To be inspired by nature or to use the natural world in your poetry, you don't always have to be as affirming and ecstatic as the Romantics. Feel free to work against the more conventional approaches in your submissions. It's always a good idea, however, to understand the traditions against which you are rebelling, if you choose to do so.
There's so much nature poetry that it's hard to single a few out, so I'll just pick a personal favorite to highlight: Robinson Jeffers' "Hurt Hawks."
View a selected bibliography of nature poets. Read a few nature poems. Please Email me me with excerpts or poems to add to these lists.
The "nature poet" look--Robert Bly