If tired of trees I seek again mankind,
Well I know where to hie me—in the dawn,
To a slope where the cattle keep the lawn.
There amid lolling juniper reclined,
Myself unseen, I see in white defined
Far off the homes of men, and farther still
The graves of men on an
The natural world has been one of the recurring subjects of poetry, frequently the primary one, in every age and every country. Yet we cannot easily define nature, which, as Gary Snyder points out in his preface to No Nature (1992), “will not fulfill our conceptions or assumptions” and “will dodge our expectations and theoretical models.” Yet the urge to describe the natural world—its various landscapes, its changing seasons, its surrounding phenomena—has been an inescapable part of the history of poetry.