Mar/Apr 2021 • Vol. XLIII No. 2 Nature’s Nature |

Views of Nature

After Alexander von Humboldt Von Humboldt wrote that the ancient mind didn’t much care for nature — the thing itself instead filling sea and land with symbols of human power and fear projecting gods and goddesses onto the stars with names that remain our own. The Greeks lived he said on wood-crowned cliffs along deeply indented shores ineradicable ever-springing waters olive trees hovering like light fog over the mountainsides yet the ancients he said did not feel the place — workshop of clouds creatures living within the fluid of fisheyes the gills of bream the limestone temples built from skeletal fragments (biogenic precipitation falling in seawater) mollusks corals and foraminifera. And when Homer paints the island home of Cyclops his purpose is nothing more than to bring before our eyes the abundance of the wild dwelling place of monsters. When Sophocles places Oedipus in verdant darkness thick embowering ivy and golden

Already have an account? Log in

Join KR for even more to read.

Register for a free account to read five free pieces a month from our current issue and digital archive.
Register for Free and Read This Piece



Or become a subscriber today and get complete, immediate access to our digital archives at every subscription level.
Alison Hawthorne Deming is the author of five books of poetry and four books of nonfiction, including Zoologies: On Animals and the Human Spirit, published in 2014. She received a 2015 Guggenheim Fellowship. Her latest poetry book Stairway to Heaven along with her collaboration with photographer Stephen Strom, Death Valley: Painted Light appeared in 2017.

Read More

The Bog

By Alison Hawthorne Deming

After Alexander von Humboldt Von Humboldt wrote that the ancient mind didn’t much care for nature — the thing itself instead filling sea and land with symbols of human power and fear […]

Subscribe

Your free registration with Kenyon review incudes access to exclusive content, early access to program registration, and more.

Donate

With your support, we’ll continue 
to cultivate talent and publish extraordinary literature from diverse voices around the world.