Plant Poetics: An Exploration of the Sacred Poetical Nature of Herbs

saba_image_blog_tp“The Earth Under our Feet – We are not Asked to Begin Nowhere.” ~ George Oppen

We live in an “everything right now” society.  Our ancestors did not.  With a slew of modern diseases, conditions and chemicals we now face that did not exist a century before us – what can we do for our health?  Plant Poetics is designed to offer another framework for viewing the modern world.  Try looking past forward.  Not fast forward.  What do you see?  Perhaps your ancestors sharing a meal together, indigenous peoples hunting or crafting, a naturescape untouched by human hands.  Is this reality so far off from the present?  Would it be impossible to return to our original roots or a way of reciprocal existence with Earth?  Where do we even start?

Before we were able to conveniently identify every plant by Latin binomial, quickly run a google search to discover its properties, or purchase thousands of herbal products through the internet, we had to discover and source our medicines for ourselves or our community.  Not to say that these modern systems do not have their benefits, but imagine the difference in connection we could have if we engaged in deeper practices of self-discovery with plants.  Imagine what kind of medicine we could receive from an herb if we truly felt its spirit or living presence.  If we could connect with its flower, fruit, leaves, stem, roots, seed, sprout… Whether you are a practicing herbalist, plant-enthusiast, nature lover, or simply a passionate human: the art of Plant Poetics can offer you a powerful tool for greater healing.

This is not a “poetry circle” per say…so what does poetry have to do with it?  Poetry evokes us to slow down to grasp the feeling, emotion, and wisdom that lies between the lines of what is written.  In looking at a plant for its authentic poetry, we must strip away our labeled understanding of it and see the spirit of the plant underneath.  This is the root of plant poetics. 

And what can we learn in the roots of “poetry” itself?  Derived from the Greek word poïesis = to make; action that transforms and continues the world; that which reconciles thought with matter and time and person in the world.  In connection with Earth, the Greek word oikos formed the word “eco” = house; home; hearth.   Thus the realm of Ecopoetics was born: how language can help cultivate (or make) a sense of dwelling on the Earth.

Poetry inspired by plants is not intended to provide facts on Nature, but to simply trace the serpentine, uncoiling patterns of plants reflected by one’s imagination.  Our creative imaginative center is often discounted as “make-believe,” “childish,” or “unreal.”  But if this is so, then what should we think of how plants were “imagined” into being?  There is a secret underlying power to our imagination accessible through the spirit of plants.

Join Heather for a special evening discussion on the sacred poetical nature of herbs, a guided plant-spirit meditation, herbal tastings, and open sharing of personal experiences, poems, stories, musings, and more.

Questions and R.S.V.P.: email – heather.saba@ClinicalHerbalism.com

“To see a World in a Grain of Sand

And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,

Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand

And Eternity in an hour.”

~William Blake

Sources:

“Poiesis” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poiesis

“Ecopoetry” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecopoetry