Thursday, 15 March 2007

Towards a Dictionary of Archaic Terms 2100AD

rainforest (n) dense forest found in tropical areas of heavy rainfall.
(New Collins Concise English Dictionary 1982)

Dense is easy – thick and heavy.

Forest? - even the oldest of us here admit
we struggle to remember expanses of trees
(rare tall, woody plants, once common).

Tropical then was the small area
hot as everywhere is now.

Heavy rainfall? – we who barely know rain
can only dream of heavy.

Remaining documents of forests
contain solidly green photos, strange names
and archaic terms we no longer understand:
Parrots.
Monkeys.
Rivers.

We have a long task ahead.



definition for Poetry Thursday


This is rather extreme eco-angst even for me! To prove it's not all doom and gloom - last night I went to the Scottish Poetry Library to hear Meg Peacocke read her poems that have been carved into rocks along a walk in Cumbria, north west England and to talk about the process of designing the walk. It was a fascinating evening! You can see photos of the poems in the rocks and a map of the walk's route here.

I wrote another poem for the prompt on Alter Ego. but the permalink wouldn't post.

26 comments:

DewyKnickers said...

It is very true how memories and pictures are all that remain in many places. Thanks for your poem and call to action.

Rose

xo

Miss Print said...

What a clever approach to the prompt!

You've got me thinking in whole new directions...

split ends said...

I also love this approach to the prompt, which I hadn't thought of--what is familiar now that will be perplexing some day?

I sure hope we don't get to this extreme situation, especially by 2100! Eep!

You've made me thankful for the forest I live in and the two days of torrential rain we just had. :)

writerwoman said...

Wow. Very unique. You made me imagine a stark grim future and gave the poem a chilling feeling. I loved it. Total original.

gautami tripathy said...

Very different take. Giving a new direction. Very good.

gautami
Aphasia

Carolee said...

thanks for stopping by my PT post! angst or not, i like the imagination it took to consider "parrot," "monkey," etc. as archaic words. stunning how scary that is!

Brian said...

Hi Crafty,

There is an acceleration towards extinction and still we toast our good fortune.

poet with a day job said...

Crafty, I am going ot have to steal (I'll credit, don't worry!) "eco-angst" because I definitely suffer from it! I love the poem - I think it flows well and until you get to "parrot, monkey" it actually even seems spot-on for today - which then makes it so surprising - as if the poem is placed sometime in the future. The future, I suppose, is now.

If you like this sort of thing in a general way, you can read The World Without Us by Alan Weisman (it will be out on Amazon by July 31, 2007). I'm reading an advance copy now and it is great - talks about, literally, how quickly things will bounce back from how we've "ruined" them.

wendy said...

Absoultely brilliant and timely and vert crafty!

I gave quite a few people "An Inconvenient Truth" for a christmas present..I wish I had this to give as a card, as well.

So simply sad at the same time.

Mary said...

I like the meaning behind this poem and the way it responds to the prompt. Smart. I love smart poetry.

Regina Clare Jane said...

This was a really clever take on the prompt! I wonder what people from long ago would think if they perused through our dictionaries of today?
'Tis a sad ending indeed if we don't do something now...

Fragmentsinsight said...

Yes, I too do like this approach. An eye opening poem showing the world we should protect, instead of taking for granted. Well written.

Yvonne

polona said...

i love your approach. poignant!

shadowsandclouds said...

great, but unfortunately true. clever, wise words, but a worrying direction for our planet...
i remember, about 8 years back, saying "when i'm old seasons will no longer exist, and when i tell my grandchildren what they were and how they worked, they won't believe it...snow in winter, sun in summer, blossom in spring etc...." ...i didn't think that it would have happened so quickly that i don't even have children yet, not to mention the grandchildren.
ps - thanks for the feedback!

Norma said...

So it didn't kill off the poets? I love the title and thinking that words we know and understand today might be archaic--soon. What else. . .

Remiman said...

Juliet,
I don't find this extreme at all. Bothe this poem and your alter ego are apt for today and I feel they tie into each other perfectly.
If home is the rainforest, lrt's hope there are lots of seeds in lots of hems.Both poems rock! ;-)
rel
P.S. The wall is quite a beautiful monument also.

Emily said...

I loved the line documents of forests. That was great!

Kimberley McGill said...

I'm very impressed with this poem. Not only is it well written, it also points to the disturbing truth.
Often, poems that address current affairs sound preachy, but you have overcome that obstacle so well.

Can I also borrow "eco-angst" with credit given to its origins? Some times I can't help but grieve what we have already lost and what we are on the verge of losing.

Nia said...

this is so good I want to translate it but don't dare to. One of my favourites out of your work.

Rethabile said...

Fresh approach to the prompt, as usual.

Catherine said...

That's a very clever twist to the prompt - like others I hope it doesn't get to that.
(Actually I believe global warming means there will be even more extremes of heavy rainfall - more energy in any system means much wilder variations in the weather).
Whatever the results of climate change, the poem is beautifully crafted.

Pip said...

I wish I had written this poem myself! My eco angst comes out in my writing occasionally as well, but not as eloquently as the work you have posted here. In Wellington we have a writer's walk along the waterfront, featuring quotes from New Zealand poets and writers carved into stone sculptures. It's a fantastic place to wander, hang out and absorb the elements.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Thahks for all the comments. Catherine, I think you're right, vlimate change will lead to more extreme weather in every direction, the Uk will probably become colder if we lose the Gulf Stream too....

Everyone who wants to use the term eco-angst please feel free, I don't claim to have invented it...

Poet with a Day Job, thanks for the book recommendation, I'll look out for that....

Nia, I'd be delighted if you wanted to translate it. I was very pleased with your last translation of one of my poems!

Shadows and Clouds - you're welcome....

whitney said...

Wonderful poem! I like how you broke down each part of the definition and your analysis was so true.

Jessica said...

I think this is such an original and haunting take on the prompt. At first, sadly, it made me chuckle because it was so clever, but now I'm scared.

Jone said...

I love how you made this in the fututre. I am sad due to the truth you speak.