Everything is in bloom, which is making me think about occurrences of nature in contemporary poetry. There is a long tradition of observational poetry extolling natural beauty, but the most affecting nature poems for me place nature in the service of a primary concern, such as coping with grief in Katy Didden’s “Avalanche” or acknowledging the dangers of the civilizing impulse in Nick Lantz’s “’The order that Bees keepe in their worke.’”
How do you incorporate nature in your writing? Do you think of nature as something active? Passive? Is nature in the foreground or background of what you write? Does nature poetry necessarily imply environmental activism? What are your favorite poems that employ nature in the service of a primary concern?