We who with songs beguile your pilgrimage / And swear that Beauty lives though lilies die, / We Poets of the proud old lineage / Who sing to find your hearts, we know not why ... (James Elroy Flecker)


Love Poem for the Earth

Love Poem for the Earth

Planet, you had me at hello.
It was love at first sight and then some.
The minute I opened my eyes 
on you, gorgeous world, just that glimpse
in my newborn gaze was enough.

Enough, and a feast. As I grew
I found out more and more to love. 
Oh, you expansive, abundant beauty! 
"Infinite variety?" Shakespeare knew
less than he thought. Infinite variety is You.

Do I need to count the ways? The rivers
and meadows, crags and oceans, the trees
and birds and tigers and dolphins and bees?
And the moods! The sunsets and moonrises,
storms and stars and perfect autumns ...

Mind you, the eternal summer's 
a bit much lately. Lovely Earth,
what are you doing to us?       Oh –
we did it to you? No no, not me, I didn't.
It was them, all the others. Don't punish me!

Don't punish us. Let us live and love you.
Tell us it's not too late! You say that love 
speaks louder in actions than words? 
You sound like my Grandma. Well, as for me,
of threescore years and ten, I've had a few more.

Planet mine, ground of my being, 
Earth of my heart, my dear, my delight, 
my long, long love, great light
of my tiny life: seventy summers 
were little room to feast on you –

to drink you in through eyes and ears
nostrils, hands and tongue. And so 
I'll go about the woodlands, and the sands, 
walk on your mountains, bathe in your rivers 
while I can; giving thanks. Giving thanks.

With acknowledgements to William Shakespeare, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, A.E. Housman and Anonymous, for some small borrowings.

Linking to Tuesday Platform 13 February 2018 at "imaginary garden with real toads" (for Valentine's Day on 14th).


  1. I cant tell you how much i adore this poem. I want to nab it for a feature.just gorgeous.

  2. I love the point of view in the first stanza, Rosemary, the way the poem grows with the speaker and the riffing on Shakespeare!

  3. Such an incredibly gorgeous poem Rosemary!💞 I love "seventy summers were little room to feast on you."💞

  4. walk on your mountains, bathe in your rivers
    while I can; giving thanks

    This is what many seem to miss. Being thankful for ordinary privileges is such a difficult habit to acquire! You did it well here Rosemary!


  5. A nice tribute, Rosemary. I particularly like the way it ends, with "I'll go about the woodlands ..." I remember, you two were a very nice pair, your interests and cares meshed so well.


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