There are people who can capture beautiful scenery by painting on canvas, using film photography, and with digital technology. And these forms of art can be visually stunning. But there is a unique perspective of visualizing when written words are read, allowing one’s mind to see not only the exterior of a scene but the interior heart intended by the writer.
What memories does your mind recall as you listen to the words of these renowned authors about the poetry of the forest?
Robert Louis Stevenson - …it is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men’s hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of the air, that emanation from the old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit.
John Fowles – In some mysterious way woods have never seemed to me to be static things. In physical terms, I move through them, yet in metaphysical ones, they seem to move through me.
Walt Whitman – Why are there trees I never walk under but large and melodious thoughts descend upon me?
William Wordsworth – One impulse from a vernal wood may teach you more of man, of moral evil and of good, than all the sages can.
Marcel Proust – We have nothing to fear and a great deal to learn from trees, that vigorous and Pacific tribe which without stint produces strengthening essences for us, soothing balms, and in whose gracious company we spend so many cool, silent and intimate hours.
Washington Irving – As the leaves of trees are said to absorb all noxious qualities of the air, and to breathe forth a purer atmosphere, so it seems to me as if they drew from us all sordid and angry passions and breathed forth peace and philanthropy. There is a severe and settled majesty in woodland scenery that enters into the soul, and dilates and elevates it, and fills it with noble inclinations.
James Henry Leigh Hunt – They refresh the commonplaces of life, shed a harmony through the busy discord, and appeal to those first sources of emotion, which are associated with the remembrance of all that is young and innocent. They seem also to present us with a portion of the tranquility we think we are laboring for.
Harold Monro – One summer afternoon, you find some lonely trees. Persuade your mind to drowse. Then, as your eyelids close, and you still hover into those three stages of a darkening doze, this side the barrier of sleep,…..pause. In that last clear moment open quick your sight toward where the green is bright and thick. Be sure that everything you keep to dream with is made out of trees.
Lucy Larcom – He who plants a tree plants a hope.
Henry David Thoreau – In wildness is the preservation of the world. Silence alone is worthy to be heard.
English Proverb – He that plants trees loves others beside himself.
Excerpts from the book, “The Forest”, compiled by Michelle Lovric.