Have you been to the zoo lately? My husband and I went to Brookfield Zoo, just outside of Chicago, where we enjoyed one of the last nice days of fall. We went to spend time outside. We went for the exercise, the change of pace, and to see the animals. Our expectations were met. But an added surprise was to find poetry at the zoo! As we walked, we found poetry on stone, signs, and glass as well as in the beauty of nature.
Etched on a large rock:
Earth, people and poetry
are one and the same entity
bound together by mysterious
When the earth flowers,
the people breathe freedom,
and poets sing and show the way.
Written on a wall:
To the earth, to the earth.
He has renewed our life,
He has taken pity on us.
I did a little bit of research on line and found this information.
Aside from majestic North American animals and beautiful exhibits, Great Bear Wilderness also embraces the "Language of Conservation," an initiative aimed at deepening conservation awareness through poetry.
With the support of a $1 million National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Poets House (national literary center and poetry library headquartered in New York City) has partnered with five zoos to create approximately 200 unique poetry installations in New Orleans, Milwaukee, Little Rock, Jacksonville, and Chicago. The selected zoos have seamlessly woven poems into the habitats of animals such as polar bears, snakes and flamingos to inspire millions of zoo visitors to become better stewards of the environment.
If you are a poet at heart, and even if you aren't, and you are near any of the areas around the zoos mentioned above, you won't want to miss an afternoon of Poetry at the Zoo.
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NOTE: This post originally appeared on Peggy's blog at www.peggyarcher.com/blog.htm. IWC thanks her for permission to reprint it.