It’s May, and the birds are singing, the leaves are growing, and the rain is falling in the Northern Hemisphere! Wherever you live, May is a great month to celebrate the wonderful and amazing world outdoors. So go outside, take some deep breaths, and enjoy the world around you in today’s Poetry Teatime!
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Did you know that the month of May includes such celebrations as…
- Iris Day (May 8),
- Love a Tree Day (May 16),
- Learn about Composting Day (May 29), and
- Water a Flower Day (May 30)?
While some of these “days” may seem a bit too specific (Asparagus Day is on May 25!), they’re still a great reminder that we should pay attention and celebrate nature.
So in today’s Poetry Teatime, get ready to enjoy the world around you and read lots of nature-related poetry!
Why Do Poets Love Nature?
If you’ve read a lot of poetry, you may notice that poets really, really like to talk about nature. Whether they write about the changing colors of leaves or a sudden rain shower, poets are people who pay attention to the world.
Why do you think poets like to write about nature so much? Take some time during your Poetry Teatime to brainstorm some ideas. There are no right answers!
Often, poets will use nature to talk about things that they feel in their own life. How do you think what you see outside (nature) connects to what you feel inside (emotions, memories, feelings)? Do things like the weather ever change how you’re feeling?
Let’s take a look at an example of that close connection poets feel between the world and their emotions. Go ahead and read the full poem at the link below, or think about the selected lines. How does nature influence Wendell Berry?
From “The Peace of Wild Things”
By Wendell Berry
When despair for the world grows in me
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
……………………………… For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
Can you think of any other poems you’ve read where the poet connects nature to their thoughts and feelings?
Now that we’ve done some thinking and discussing, it’s time to dive into the fun of decorating and eating a nature-themed teatime!
Natural Food and Drinks
- Solar oven snacks: Create your own solar oven with cardboard and foil, then harness the power of the sun to “bake” snacks like nachos and even mac n’ cheese! Follow these directions from Mama Guru.
- Garden vegetables: Repurpose heads of lettuce, avocado seeds, and potato peelings by letting them sprout and planting them! You’ll need soil for planting and lots of patience. Find easy-to-follow directions for lettuce here from Pre-K Pages and a list of 25 grocery store veggies you can re-plant here from DIY n Crafts!
- Earth-themed snacks: If you have an eye for design, you’ll love these cute veggies in the shape of trees and ladybugs created by Gina Kirk.
- Sustainable recipes: Prepare a full meal using sustainable, plant-based, or re-used ingredients like food scraps with these recipes from Go Dairy Free.
- Zero-waste art: Use these directions from Little Green Lives to make zero-waste paint and recycled decorations that you can use on individual pieces of paper for placemats or on a long sheet of butcher paper for a tablecloth!
- DIY bird feeders: Bring birds to your Poetry Teatime by taking a few minutes to put together this simple craft with a toilet paper roll, seeds, and peanut butter. Then sit back and watch! Find out how here from the Resourceful Mama.
- Neighborhood cleanup walk: Take a walk outdoors, and when you do, take some cleaning supplies with you! You’ll need trash bags and gloves. Pick up the trash you see around you and make the neighborhood a cleaner place!
- Turn off the lights: Try using a light source like candles or sunlight during your teatime. Learn about energy conservation, your carbon footprint, and why it’s so important with this kid-friendly activity from Kitchen Counter Chronicle.
- Recycling Field Trip: Learn about recycling by visiting your local recycling plant! Figure out which household products you can recycle and see if you can earn money from recycling items like cans. You may even be able to take a look inside the plant if you call ahead and ask.
So enjoy taking care of the world around you as well as reading about the wonders of nature with today's Poetry Teatime.
Poetry Books About Nature
Let’s wrap up our teatime with some poetry. If you open almost any poetry anthology, you’re bound to find some poems about nature, but this list is a great place to start!
National Geographic Book of Nature Poetry: More than 200 Poems With Photographs That Float, Zoom, and Bloom!, selected by J. Patrick Lewis
Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature by Joyce Sidman
Poetrees by Douglas Florian
Footprints on the Roof: Poems About the Earth by Marilyn Singer
Ordinary Things: Poems from a Walk in Early Spring by Ralph Fletcher
Compost Stew: An A to Z Recipe for the Earth by Mary McKenna Siddals
Thank You, Earth: A Love Letter to Our Planet by April Pulley Sayre
W is for Wind: A Weather Alphabet by Pat Michaels
Weather: Poems for All Seasons selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins
The Cuckoo’s Haiku: And Other Birding Poems by Michael J. Rosen
Old Elm Speaks: Tree Poems by Kristine O’Connell George
The Company of Crows: A Book of Poems by Marilyn Singer