The Humanity of Mother Earth

The Jets crack sound overhead, it’s OK here,

Every pulse of the rot at the heart

In the sick fat veins of Amerika

Pushes the edge up closer—


A bulldozer grinding and slobbering

Sideslipping and belching on top of

The skinned-up bodies of still-live bushes

In the pay of a man

From town.

In these lines from his poem “Front Lines,” modern poet Gary Snyder captivates the distinct view of an enraged environmentalist, angry with the people in today’s society and how they treat the world around them. Snyder is known for his understanding of nature, and his feeling of connection with the world as a result of his study of Buddhism. In this poem specifically, Snyder personifies nature as he describes it being destroyed by mankind. He refers to bushes as “skinned-up bodies” while describing them being torn out of the ground from relentless bull-dozers that are destroying the land for the expansion of consumerism and greed. Snyder also personifies America, spelled “Amerika” in the poem, as a sickly being with “sick fat veins” as he describes the greed that is enveloping nature and all of it’s beauty. Snyder uses incredibly descriptive words like “grinding,” “slobbering,” and “belching,” again using the sickly portrayal of America to make it seem very unattractive in its expansion and destruction of the environment. Snyder feels very strongly in his views and his love of nature and uses key elements like personification to attract the reader and help them relate to what his poetry’s deeper meaning is.

This entry was posted in Homework, Honors English III, Poetry. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Humanity of Mother Earth

  1. jillianhaywood says:

    Denny’s third sentence is one of the best in her post because it makes direct reference to Snyder’s use of personification to convey his point about the destruction of nature.

  2. beans11 says:

    In this post, the sixth sentence is the most vibrant as it provides the reader with a glimpse at the foundation of this poem, the diction, used to convey the ultimate goal of Snyder’s poetry.

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