Sameer Reddy in the Wall Street Journal:
Nature and poetry share a long and loving history, as Walt Whitman's “Leaves of Grass” and Ralph Waldo Emerson's seminal essay “Nature,” can attest. So when the New York Botanical Garden was planning the dedication program for its Thain Family Forest, a lush swath of newly restored old-growth forest in the garden's northwest corner, it found a natural partner in the Poetry Society of America.
The Poetry Society, in turn, commissioned Jon Cotner, the author, with Andy Fitch, of “Ten Walks/Two Talks” and the creator of various urban walking initiatives, to design an experience for Garden visitors. He devised “Poem Forest,” the goal being to re-introduce them to one of the area's few remaining pockets of 17th-century woodland.
Beginning last weekend and concluding this Saturday and Sunday, the public has the chance to walk the Sweetgum Trail, stopping at 15 spots along the path where they can enunciate a selection of poetic fragments that resonate with the landscape and focus the senses. The lines have been sourced from a diverse group of poets who share an attunement to the wonders of the natural world.