Stunning Nature Poetry To Make Your Spring Equinox Blossom

Read on for recommendations of beautiful, thought-provoking poetry with lavish nature themes to celebrate the spring equinox!

Poetry & Drama Recommendations
Earth Keeper: Reflections on the American Land by N. Scott Momaday, You Are Here: Poetry in the Natural World by Ada Limón, and A Thousand Mornings by Mary Oliver are blocked side by side along with images of lush green plants and succulents.

Writers of the Romantic era, a poetic movement during the 18th and 19th centuries, channeled observations of the natural world and leaned into their emotions to produce poignant and provocative work. In stark contrast to the scientific, logical Enlightenment era before it, Romanticism celebrated complex, wide-ranging human emotion, evolutionary roots, spontaneity, and appreciation of what was already provided to society by the Earth. Here is a mix of classic and contemporary collections of nature poetry to deepen one’s association with the Earth just in time for the spring season! Included are staple voices of the genre as well as lesser-known authors whose messages must be uplifted!

Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman

Book jacket for Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman. Etched inside an ornate gold frame on an emerald green background are tall grasses and wheat.
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A justified staple for nature poetry, Walt Whitman’s renowned Leaves of Grass explores humankind’s coexistence with nature in a way that redefined the literary genre. Intertwined with the environment’s valuable lessons are discussions on society, morality, independence, and the many critical topics of the Romantic period that pushed forth the foundations of essential philosophies.

Windfall: Irish Nature Poems to Inspire and Connect by Jane Clarke

Book jacket for Windfall: Irish Nature Poems to Inspire and Connect by Jane Clarke, illustrated by Jane Clarkill. A small black bird with a yellow beak perches on a tree, whose branch ends are adorned with small green leaves and orange fruits. The spine of the book is solid green.
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This collection of poems invites readers to celebrate the beauty and lament the losses of Ireland’s rich culture and natural history. Nature’s elegance is used as a tool to explain the enigmatic, labyrinthine connections created between people as they move through their lives.

You Are Here: Poetry in the Natural World by Ada Limón

Book jacket for You Are Here: Poetry in the Natural World by Ada Limón. Black drawings of a deer, leafy shrubs and plants frame the title in a circle. Starts and a crescent moon are clustered at the top.
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You Are Here: Poetry in the Natural World, edited by the 24th Poet Laureate of the United States, Ada Limón, exhibits contemporary nature poetry and interprets the environment as it has changed significantly from the days of Whitman and other Romantic writers. The previously unpublished works of myriad famous poets provide the innermost insight into humanity’s relationship with the natural world today. Our landscapes and poetic innovations have undergone marvelous changes, and this anthology reinvents the historical understanding of nature poetry.

A Thousand Mornings by Mary Oliver

Book jacket for A Thousand Mornings by Mary Oliver. A lake with thin, tall trees without leaves is edited in a black and white ombre. A fog rolls over the river.
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Mary Oliver’s A Thousand Mornings illustrates the innate teachings of nature in her home of the beloved Provincetown, Massachusetts. Oliver appreciates life’s simple pleasures, relishing in the colorful day-to-day experiences.

Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry by Camille T. Dungy, et al.

Book jacket for Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry by Camille T. Dungy, et al. A black and white image of a young child is overlaid on an image of a grassy field with a yellow filter. The child is laying on the grass in overalls and touches a thing but long object to their forehead.
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Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry is a remarkable anthology of poems from Black writers whose nature poetry has been regarded and categorized as historical, radical, political, or protest poetry, preventing it from reaching entire audiences. Camille T. Dungy curates poems authored during the time of slavery, Reconstruction, the Harlem Renaissance, the Black Arts Movement, and early 21st-century poetic movements, shining a light on the entire scope of African American and nature poetry, removing the limitations of the relationship between the two from the past.

Earth Keeper: Reflections on the American Land by N. Scott Momaday

Book jacket for Earth Keeper: Reflections on the American Land by N. Scott Momaday. Geometric configurations of triangles frame the title. The triangles on top are a seafoam green, and the ones on the bottom are a bright orange. The background is a lighter orange, and the edges of the cover have small splotches of seafoam green.
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Native American writer N. Scott Momaday’s phenomenal voice celebrates the natural world through Native American oral traditions in Earth Keeper. This beautiful collection of generational and spiritual poems inspires readers, cultivating a deeper connection with the natural world and igniting a sense of revered wonder. Momaday eloquently calls on readers to protect the precious Earth, as we are its protectors.

Queer Nature: A Poetry Anthology by Michael Walsh

Book jacket for Queer Nature: A Poetry Anthology by Michael Walsh. A small rectangle of wood is held down by graphics of beige strips. An image of bare ground is overlaid on the bottoms of the strips.
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Queer Nature highlights the unique intersection between nature and queer identities. Presented in this collection is a fresh perspective on queerness and human-environmental interactions. LGBTQ+ poets from the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries are celebrated in this stunning anthology, which broadens the pool of standard nature poetry, amplifying voices that have for too long gone unheard.

Literature and art are potent instruments in bridging the emotional and informational gap between humans and the environment, a gap that’s becoming increasingly important and urgent to close. Gather these collections on your TBR to reinvigorate your relationship with the wilderness!


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