On Sept. 19, the day after the nature poetry program for students, poet Joyce Brinkman led a program for adults at the Gene Stratton-Porter State Historic Site. Poets Gerard Manley Hopkins and, to a lesser extent, Mary Oliver were given as models for “inscape” or more than surface descriptions of nature. We were instructed to select an object and delve deep into its essence, using word combinations, even made-up words and internal rhyming. So these are not finished poems, but the beginning of poems.
Poplar Seed Pod by Steve Ferguson
Splotch-brown, mold-white stripes
Delicate grooves, banana-bruised
Ten Ten thousand trees
The breeze sighs and rising,
The babes to sprout, grow
The Nursing Log by Martha Ferguson
You beckon me,
With slanted sun skimming you
As you sink into the soil.
Bright red in the sun, out of shady dark brown.
You’re cracked, perfect squares, rectangles.
All linear where once you were round
Invaded-insects, your only round now.
No long gray-barked, but green-mossed
No long standing, but supine
No longer green-leafed, but feeding tomorrow’s green.
In addition, Ball State University Professor Nancy Carlson talked about the writing process in creating her documentary, Gene Stratton-Porter: Voice of the Limberlost in 1996.
Thank you to Dr. Louis and Anne B. Schneider Foundation of Fort Wayne, Indiana for underwriting this workshop.
Martha Ferguson writes an unofficial blog about the gardens at Gene Stratton-Porter.