Practicing with poetry is easy and is something that is often overlooked, but can be a very good way to capture moments in nature and focus on specific observations. One fairly straightforward exercise can be to create an acrostic poem. The format of acrostic poems is simple. Take a work or phrase, preferably nature related, vertically in your nature journal. Then, use each letter of the word as the first letter for a set of horizontal words or phrases that relate to the vertical word. For the sake of nature journaling, you can practice with recording your observations of the vertical word in the form of horizontal phrases like the examples below!
Another simple, yet thoughtful style of poetry is the Haiku. A Haiku is a form of Japanese poetry that is commonly a three lined poem with 5 syllables in the first line, 7 syllables in the second line and 5 syllables in the third line. Haikus are perfect for reflecting on nature because they are designed to focus on imagery. Try to write a Haiku about something you are seeing in nature sticking to the 5-7-5 syllable format. Think about sound, sight, touch, smell and possibly even taste when coming up with phrases. Below is a haiku by Japanese poet, Natsume Sōseki.
over the wintry
By Natsume Sōseki
Over the wintry
Forest, winds howl in rage
With no leaves to blow.
The beauty of poetry, much like the beauty of keeping a nature journal, is that it can really be whatever you want! My favorite type of poem to play with are those that rhyme, but even with rhyming poems, there are infinite ways to express yourself! Take some time to explore different ways to record observations in the form of poetry. Even if poetry is completely new for you, or maybe something that you won't experiment with in the future, it can be an awesome tool for focusing your observations. Until next week!
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