Nature poetry to inspire you

by Abby Henkel

Growing up in Indiana, it’s hard not to love nature. It’s all around us, and Hoosiers are working harder every day to protect what’s left and restore what’s been harmed.

Some people love nature for the small, scientific details. Some love it for the grandeur of a beautiful vista. There’s nothing like a good poem to make you feel more connected to the outdoors. One of my favorite poems, The Peace of Wild Things by Wendell Berry, will be featured in the June issue of our member newsletter, The Twig.

Here’s another poem I love about connecting with the great outdoors. It’s called Stars by Sara Teasdale. I’m a singer, and I first encountered this poem when I had the honor of singing this glorious setting of it by Ēriks Ešenvalds. Choir is also how I learned about The Peace of Wild Things, which Bloomington composer Malcolm Dalglish set to music (here’s a recording by the choir I sing with, Voces Novae).


Stars by Sara Teasdale

A view of the Milky Way from Sycamore’s Lake Monroe property, the Amy Weingartner Branigin Peninsula Preserve. Photo by Nake Clark (@nateclarkski)

Alone in the night
On a dark hill
With pines around me
Spicy and still,

And a heaven full of stars
Over my head
White and topaz
And misty red;

Myriads with beating
Hearts of fire
The aeons
Cannot vex or tire;

Up the dome of heaven
Like a great hill
I watch them marching
Stately and still.

And I know that I
Am honored to be
Of so much majesty.