Transition Culture

An Evolving Exploration into the Head, Heart and Hands of Energy Descent

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19 Dec 2007

Can Poetry Save the Planet?

dpI wouldn’t know the answer to that question, but I certainly feel more open to the possibility following an event organised recently by the Transition Town Totnes Heart and Soul group called **Poetry in Motion** (“an evening of words to move, inspire and uplift”) which featured Drew Dellinger, one of the most respected and admired performers in the field of deep ecology / awakening / planetary work, and local Totnes poet Matt Harvey, who recently also performed at the TTT first birthday party. The event was a huge success, and I had the huge frustration of already being committed to teaching my evening class in the room next door, and being able to hear the laughter and applause through the wall but needing to focus instead on teaching about varieties of walnut and forest garden design. I thought I would never be able to hear the event.. but it turns out I can….

mThe new Totnes-based online radio station Traydio (“air to share”) has recently posted both poets’ sets, which you can now listen to online. They are a wonderful contrast, Matt Harvey’s presentation often veers close to standup, and includes a beautiful poem about his children among other things. Drew Dellinger, on the other hand, weaves astonishing wordscapes, burning with rage about what is happening to this planet, and often creating very powerful and moving stories that take in the cosmos and are often quite beautiful. They complement each other wonderfully.

Also on the site is an interview with co-founder of the TTT Heart and Soul group Sophy Banks which offers a very interesting insight into that aspect of the TTT process. I’ll keep you posted on any new recordings they put up that are of use.

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3 Comments

Anne Stallybrass
19 Dec 9:09pm

This is an apposite favourite of mine from Sir George Trevelyan’s precious anthology of wake-up poetry called Magic Casements:

The human heart can go the lengths of God.
Dark and cold we may be, but this
Is no winter now. The frozen misery
Of centuries breaks, cracks, begins to move;
The thunder is the thunder of the floes,
The thaw, the flood, the upstart Spring.
Thank God our Time is now when wrong
Comes up to face us everywhere,
Never to leave us till we take
The longest stride of soul men ever took.
Affairs are now soul size.
The enterprise
Is exploration into God.
Where are you making for? It takes
So many thousand years to wake
But will you wake for pity’s sake?

No coincidence that Lady Elmhirst, foundress of Dartington as it is today, and inspiratrix of the whole Devon green movement, was an avid collector of poetry – her stuff is also published.

And oh yes, I’ve suddenly got hooked on Robert Browning’s The Pied Piper of Hamelin. Now I wonder why???

Rationalist
20 Dec 10:18pm

Economics For Beginners; A Poem We Can All Join In

Rationalist
20 Dec 10:21pm

Economics For Beginners; A Poem We Can All Join In

Maxine Qwerty

Ain’t got no job
got what you deserve
ain’t got no money
got what you deserve
ain’t got no home
got what you deserve
ain’t got no hope
got what you deserve

Got a top job
got what you deserve
got money to burn
got what you deserve
got two lovely homes
got what you deserve
one went up in flames
got what you deserve