Shifting Focus

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I purchased “Lost Words” by Robert G. Macfarlane quite some time ago after someone shared it here at PF. (Sorry! I can’t remember who. Update: It was Christie Wyman with this post.)  Wow! What a gorgeous book–both the poems and the illustrations.

Then, in June, Mary Lee Hahn tweeted that there are songs to go along with the poems. What!? I fell in love with this one and listened to it over and over and over again. It’s hauntingly beautiful.

“Enter the wild with care, my love, and speak the things you see.  Let new names take and root and thrive and grow.” Sigh…..beautiful….

I started following Macfarlane on twitter. Browsing through recent tweets, I found one in which he shared the term “plant blindness”.

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What a fascinating idea! In the thread of comments, someone shared a link to the original article (here) and a man named James Lomax also responded. He said he’d once walked with a wildflower expert who’d said, “The world comes into focus when you can identify the flowers.” I loved that idea. It helped me to put words to the deep pleasure I get from naming the plants and flowers that surround me when I’m out and about. Having read Tricia Stohr-Hunt’s PF clever triolet earlier this month, I was inspired to revisit that form with this idea in mind. Of course, she made it look so easy! ha! I’d forgotten how tricky these are. This one’s been more than a bit squirmy and hasn’t fully settled down yet. Perhaps it’s just a bit out of focus…

Shifting Focus

Naming plants and flowers
shifts the world into focus
In gilded fields or dappled bowers
naming plants and flowers
uplifts and empowers
Trillium, wintergreen, wild crocus
Naming plants and flowers
shifts the world into focus

Molly Hogan ©2019 (draft)

Check out this week’s bouquet of poetry (and a really cute puppy!) at the Poetry Friday Roundup at Carol’s Corner.