Saturday, May 5, 2012

Saturday Book Review on Morning Earth By John Caddy

I found this book randomly from Library, love the feel of it: poetry, nature, honesty, and beauty…

“If I were assigned the task of placing this book on a bookstore or library shelf I am not sure where it would go. To be sure it would go with poetry but then it would also be at home in the writing, nature, and spirituality sections as well. To bad there are not sections for exquisite or beauty or love for this gem belongs in all of the above.

Caddy is a life-long teacher (40) years and has been a resident poet at over 700 schools and an instructor at Hamline University and the Univ. of Minnesota. He is a published author and poet and the winner of both the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Poetry and a Minnesota Book Award. He lives in Forest Lake, Minnesota, and this volume of poetry brings together his lifelong interests as poet, educator, and naturalist.

Using the four seasons as a platform Caddy combines his love for poetry and the ecology into a daily diary of poetic meditations that connect the individual with nature. He then adds a brief commentary on what his poetic observations mean to him. They range from suggestions to writers in the eleven-line poem titled December 2: On the deck/cat prints in the frost/wait for sun's eraser. His suggestion? Simple gifts suggest clear and simple expression. Write directly from experience and stay within the moment as you write. Basho, the haiku master, once asked, "Is there any good in saying everything?" to reading signs of life in his April 11th entry to the generosity of spirit and community in his May 3rd observation where he notes, after observing a ladybug on its quest for safety, "We are in life one community, each with the same problems: water, food, a place to be. Generosity of spirit enlarges us." He places the insect in the tulip bed for safety, a place to be.

A great number of poets have attempted to connect people with nature. None do it better than Caddy. His ability to observe nature and turn such observations into a daily poetic expression that combine the ecological significance of his observations with suggestions for writers and aspects of spirituality, love and beauty is a sheer delight to read. In reading his work I am reminded of the reply of a Middle School student when ask What do poets do with words? The answer: "They say a word and something happens."

Check out morning Earth: Field Notes in Poetry by John Caddy today at,