“Let them not say:   it was not spoken, not written.
We spoke,
we witnessed with voices and hands.

Let them not say:     they did nothing.”
Jane Hirshfield

The urge to describe the environment—its landscapes, wonders, and dangers—is a consistent topic throughout the history of poetry. From the Canaanite myth “Poem of Aqhat” (fifteenth century BCE), which ruminates on the idea that seasons reflect the rhythms and symbolic stages of life, to Shijing (tenth to fifth century BCE), the Chinese book of songs and seasonal poems, nature poetry speaks on how humans connect to the natural world around them.

Learn more about nature poetry and environmental justice with the poems and resources below.