When Wonks and Monks and People in Robes Read and Write Poetry

When Wonks and Monks and People in Robes Read and Write Poetry; Poetry on Water; Poetry’s Role in Environmental Law and Public Policy. In Mossberg’s Poetry Slow Down series on the power of poetic language and the role of poetry in shaping not only our thinking about our environment but the law itself, we have broadcast shows about movements to restore wilderness and nature through laws, including Yosemite National Park (and the National Park System), and the Restore Hetch Hetchy movement (Go, Valley!). Today’s show continues this theme to inspire hope from the bench and the bank–the river bank, noting judicial opinions calling on poetry, discovering in civic leadership of public engagement in water projects the poetic muse, at Mono Lake (David Gaines and the Mono Lake Committee), in Seattle (Lorna Jordan and waste recovery metro-water projects), Portland, Oregon (Dr. Masaru Emoto water crystals project), world at large (Karen Bradley and the global river dance movement), Klamath River restoration project (Go, Salmon!), and more. We consider eco-monk Thomas Berry, eco-saint Aldo Leopold, Dr. Amit Goswami, and poetry’s invocation by the California Supreme Court and U.S. Supreme Court of poets from John Donne to Matthew Arnold. And we hear our own Dr. B, Poet in Residence for Pacific Grove, now living by the tidepools culled by Ed Rickets and John Steinbeck for Cannery Row (“a poem, a stink”), write about water, lake, pond, and the truths we learn about the world through our own sweat, from bodies ¾ water. Broadcast from Eugene, Oregon at the intersection of the Willamette and McKenzie Rivers.

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