An on-line group I joined to explore our relationship with the Earth was given a project to write “A Love Letter to the Earth”. I didn’t want to do this and at first couldn’t quite explain why. I thought it was “blissy”, that is, emotionally sentimental. I have, like most people, written love letters from time to time, more often love poems and you will find some on this blog. But on such occasions I was infatuated and full of sexual passion, some were more grounded than that suggests but the genre is usually “romantic” and not exactly the way I feel about the Earth. I feel/experience the Earth as Mother, Gaia, and(I say this with some sense of humour) for a son to write his mother in that way might be Oedipal at best and maybe even narcissistic. Also love letters are usually spontaneous and its difficult to be asked to produce one like it is a school project, an essay on my favourite teacher perhaps; nope I couldn’t do that! I did not, however, want to be awkward and uncooperative; and I remembered I did know of a love poem to the Earth by someone else. The poet is the American Walt Whitman 1819-1892. Here are a few lines of it:
“Smile O voluptuous cool-breath’d earth!
Earth of the slumbering and liquid trees!
Earth of departed sunset–earth of the mountains misty-topt!
Earth of the vitreous pour of the full moon just tinged with blue!
Earth of shine and dark mottling the tide of the river!
Earth of the limpid gray of clouds brighter and clearer for my sake!
Far-swooping elbow’d earth–rich apple-blossom’d earth!
Smile, for your lover comes.”
And you can’t get more erotically passionate than:
“Thruster holding me tight and that I hold tight!
We hurt each other as the bridegroom and the bride hurt each other.
You sea! I resign myself to you also….
We must have a turn together….I undress….Hurry me out of
sight of land,
Cushion me soft….rock me in billowy drowse,
Dash me with amorous wet….I can repay you.
Sea of stretched ground swells!
Sea breathing broad and convulsive breaths!
…I am integral with you.”
From: “Leaves of Grass” (21)