Becoming Animal



The power of language remains, first and foremost,

a way of singing oneself into contact with others and with the cosmos—

a way of bridging the silence between oneself and another person,

or a startled black bear, or the crescent moon soaring like a billowed sail above the roof.

Whether sounded on the tongue, printed on the page, or shimmering on the screen,

language’s primary gift is not to re-present the world around us,

but to call ourselves into the vital presence of that world—

and into deep and attentive presence with one another..."

(c) David Abram, Becoming Animal: An Earthly Cosmology

  • Write a poem that bridges the silence between you and another being, human or non-human.
  • Write about your relationship to language. As you reflect back on your words, see if their are ways in which your relationship to language mirrors your relationship to nature.
  • Read a poem a day for a week. Read your poems outside in nature. What do you sense happens when poetry fills the air?