Hike with a Poet: Probing the Mystery of Nature at Houdek Dunes - The Leelanau Conservancy


Hike with a Poet: Probing the Mystery of Nature at Houdek Dunes

Saturday, April 20th | 1:00pm

During this hike we will bring along the poetry of Pattiann Rogers.

As we follow the trail, stopping at different points along the way to listen to a poem, we’ll consider the roles of witnessing, praise and language in how we perceive the natural world (and therefore in how we see ourselves). We’ll explore how, through a cultivation of precise scientific knowledge and poetic sensibility, through a kind of ecstatic cataloguing, Rogers shows us that the spiritual is inherent in the natural world. Roger’s work suggests that science and the spiritual are not separate and that we can learn to see the places we inhabit as “charged with the presence of the holy” in order to recover an attitude of respect and responsibility.

These Hike with a Poet sessions are designed to act as a kind of cross-pollination event between science and the arts with a focus on ecopoetry from around the world. Unlike nature poetry of the romantic era that focused on abstract concepts of beauty and the transformational capacity of nature, ecopoetry realizes the survival of our species depends on the survival of other beings, plants included. It shows us that we are connected to the world in a way that implies responsibility. It bears witness and it is a kind of activism of the heart, bringing people closer, emotionally, to a non-human existence that is larger than our “anthropocentric orbits.”

This Hike with a Poet series is created by docent Cathy Stocker, and will be led by Cathy, Ann McInnis and Burt Thomas.

Participants are asked to bring along a pen/pencil and a small, pocket-size or easy-to-carry notebook. Copies of the poems to be read will be provided.

The hiking difficulty at Houdek Dunes is considered moderate with some inclines and steps. We will maintain a mostly leisurely pace with frequent stops along the way for reading, observation and discussion. Plan on 2 hours with docents available for questions afterward.

Photo by: Mark Smith