‘California Dreaming’ by Charles Wright, written in 1983, is a poem about Wright’s departure from Laguna Beach, CA, where he lived for six years. In ‘California Dreaming,’ the poet-speaker describes how Californians are similar to another evolution of people from the East.
We are not born yet, and everything’s crystal under our feet.
We are not brethren, we are not underlings.
We are another nation,
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‘A Way of Looking’ by Elizabeth Jennings explores the peculiar but often unnoticed ways our perception is guided by more than what is objectively observed.
It is the association after all
We seek, we would retrace our thoughts to find
The thought of which this landscape is the image,
Then pay the thought and not the landscape homage.
‘Try to Praise the Mutilated World’ by Adam Zagajewski focuses on the most important ways that people can find happiness in their everyday lives. They can step out into nature or return to memories.
Try to praise the mutilated world.
Remember June's long days,
and wild strawberries, drops of rosé wine.
The nettles that methodically overgrown
‘A Murmur in the Trees— to note’ by Emily Dickinson is a poem about nature’s magic. It includes mysterious images of fairy men, glowing lights in the woods, and the murmuring of trees.
A Murmur in the Trees – to note –
Not loud enough – for Wind –
A Star – not far enough to seek –
Nor near enough – to find –
‘Amends’ by Adrienne Rich is a beautiful poem in which the poet depicts the moon. She describes its presence in the sky and the peace it brings to humanity.
Nights like this: on the cold apple-bough
a white star, then another
exlploading out of the bark:
on the ground, moonlight picking at small stones