May/June 2015 • Vol. XXXVII No. 3 Nature's Nature: A Gathering of Poetry |

Nature’s Nature: A Gathering of Poetry Introduction

I am pleased to offer this gathering of new poems to our readers, as I have been pleased to read the work of so many poets in assembling this feature on "nature poetry." The question at hand concerns how contemporary poets use and refer to — speak about, speak for, speak from — a natural place, and for what purposes, both mindful and subliminal, they may speak. But first a note about what I mean by nature or nature poetry. Simply defining nature poetry is a slippery slope. See? Already I have made use of a natural image, a hillside landscape where my footing is manifest, if insecure, where my stability is growing fraught. Already I have written in cliché, too, erasing any vitality or originality—any sense of the actual and particular—to that slope. Talk about slippery. Philosophers and environmental scholars are writing volumes on the subject of nature, the ecosphere, and extinction. I tend to agree with one friend who argues that nature essentially no longer ex

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David Baker is the author or editor of many books of poetry and criticism. His latest collection of poems, Whale Fall, was published by W. W. Norton in July 2022. Baker taught at Kenyon 1983–84 and began a long association with The Kenyon Review then, including service for more than twenty-five years as poetry editor. He continues to curate the magazine’s annual environmental feature, “Nature’s Nature.” Baker is emeritus professor of English at Denison University, in Granville, Ohio, where he offers two classes each spring semester.

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I am pleased to offer this gathering of new poems to our readers, as I have been pleased to read the work of so many poets in assembling this feature […]

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