'The How And Why Of Rocks And Minerals' by Lee Upton
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And these others-what are they?
Not dolomite, sandstone, shist or calcite.
I might include ice-the colorless mineral,
if ice stayed ice.
But what is this one? Some go nameless,
do not look like their pictures.
This stingy lump, this once hot magma?
This is our whole cause
of trouble over arithmetic.
Now crack two of these together.
Fire won't start.
I've tried it.
How about this? The bad stone,
the go-to-work stone,
the stone in a uniform.
He wants to look just like the other stones.
But what would you call my new stone?
this dark stone.
Do we think it will teach anyone
the name of the mountain
all these stones rolled down from?
To see the pool of water inside the gem?
Or is this the blarney stone,
what we get for our kisses,
for not knowing our rocks from our minerals.
This rock has a spot in it, so smooth
it is the start of the first quarry,
that zoo of rocks, the untamed, distant rocks,
the rocks that make us nervous.
On the Scale of Hardness we're talc.
But this is not fool's gold,
not banker's gold either,
our love stamped on it.
If this rock could talk I know it would
be quiet. Not a stupid rock,
this one we love.
The loudest stones of history,
they are sand now.
Editor 1 Interpretation
The How And Why Of Rocks And Minerals: A Literary Criticism
Are you fascinated by the intricate details of rocks and minerals? Do you find yourself drawn to the natural world and its mysteries? If so, then Lee Upton's "The How And Why Of Rocks And Minerals" is the perfect poetry collection for you. In this literary criticism, we'll take a deep dive into the themes, imagery, and language used in this classic work and explore what makes it a must-read for lovers of nature poetry.
Before we delve into the poetry itself, it's worth taking a moment to understand the context in which it was written. Lee Upton is an American poet and writer who has published several collections of poetry and fiction. "The How And Why Of Rocks And Minerals" was first published in 1999 and quickly became one of Upton's most popular works.
The collection is comprised of 32 poems, each of which explores a different aspect of rocks and minerals. From the geological formations that shape our planet to the precious stones that we mine from the earth, Upton's poetry offers a glimpse into the beauty and complexity of the natural world.
At its core, "The How And Why Of Rocks And Minerals" is a celebration of nature. Upton's poetry is filled with vivid descriptions of the earth's many wonders, and her language is infused with a sense of awe and wonder. Through her exploration of rocks and minerals, Upton touches on themes such as:
The power and beauty of nature
One of the most striking aspects of Upton's poetry is her ability to capture the majesty of the natural world. Whether she's describing the grandeur of a mountain range or the glittering brilliance of a diamond, Upton's language is infused with a sense of reverence for the earth's many wonders.
The interconnectedness of all things
Upton's poetry also explores the idea that everything in the natural world is interconnected. She illustrates how rocks and minerals are formed through the interaction of different elements and how they are shaped by the forces of nature. Through her poetry, Upton reminds us that we are all part of a larger ecosystem and that everything we do has an impact on the world around us.
The passage of time
Many of Upton's poems are concerned with the idea of time and how it shapes the natural world. She describes how rocks and minerals are formed over millions of years and how they bear witness to the passage of time. Through her poetry, Upton encourages us to appreciate the beauty of the natural world and to recognize the fleeting nature of our own lives.
One of the most striking features of "The How And Why Of Rocks And Minerals" is Upton's use of imagery. Her poetry is filled with rich, evocative descriptions of the natural world, and her language has a vividness that brings her subject matter to life.
For example, in the poem "Calcite," Upton describes the mineral as:
"A prism of light, a transparent shard reflecting the wind, the rain, the stars, the passage of time in long lengths of light."
Here, Upton's language conveys the beauty and delicacy of the calcite, and her use of imagery creates a sense of movement and fluidity.
Similarly, in the poem "Diamonds," Upton describes the precious stones as:
"A symbol of love, of wealth, of power, A promise, a hope, a dream, A thing of beauty beyond compare."
Here, Upton's language creates a sense of grandeur and opulence, and her use of imagery highlights the allure and mystique of diamonds.
Upton's language is one of the most distinctive features of her poetry. She has a gift for capturing the beauty and complexity of the natural world in words, and her language is infused with a sense of wonder and awe.
One of the most striking aspects of Upton's language is her use of metaphor and simile. In the poem "Fossils," she describes the remains of ancient creatures as:
"Bones and shells and imprints like messages from the past inscribed in rock like a book of mysteries waiting to be read."
Here, Upton's language creates a sense of intrigue and fascination, and her use of metaphor illustrates the idea that fossils are like clues to the earth's history.
Similarly, in the poem "Quartz," Upton describes the mineral as:
"A crystal of light, a prism of color, A whisper of magic in the earth's embrace."
Here, Upton's language creates a sense of enchantment and wonder, and her use of metaphor highlights the ethereal qualities of quartz.
In conclusion, "The How And Why Of Rocks And Minerals" is a beautiful and thought-provoking collection of poetry that celebrates the wonders of the natural world. Through her exploration of rocks and minerals, Lee Upton encourages us to appreciate the power and beauty of nature, to recognize the interconnectedness of all things, and to appreciate the fleeting nature of our own lives. Her use of vivid imagery and evocative language creates a sense of wonder and awe, and her poetry is sure to leave readers feeling inspired and uplifted. Whether you're a lover of nature poetry or simply someone who appreciates the beauty of the natural world, "The How And Why Of Rocks And Minerals" is a must-read.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
The How and Why of Rocks and Minerals: A Poetic Exploration of the Earth's Wonders
Have you ever stopped to consider the beauty and complexity of the rocks and minerals that make up our planet? Lee Upton certainly has, and her collection of poetry, The How and Why of Rocks and Minerals, is a stunning tribute to the geological wonders that surround us.
In this collection, Upton takes us on a journey through the earth's crust, exploring the origins and properties of various rocks and minerals. From the glittering crystals of quartz to the rough-hewn surfaces of granite, Upton's poems capture the essence of each material, bringing them to life in vivid detail.
One of the most striking aspects of Upton's poetry is her ability to convey the scientific facts about rocks and minerals in a way that is both accessible and engaging. In "The Properties of Minerals," for example, she describes the various ways in which minerals can be identified, from their color and luster to their hardness and cleavage. But rather than simply listing these characteristics, Upton weaves them into a narrative that is both informative and poetic:
"Minerals are like people, each with its own distinctive qualities. Some are hard and brittle, others soft and pliable. Some are transparent, others opaque. Some are lustrous, others dull."
Through her use of metaphor and imagery, Upton makes the study of geology feel like a thrilling adventure, full of mystery and wonder. In "The Formation of Rocks," for example, she describes the process by which sedimentary rocks are created:
"Imagine a river, flowing fast and strong, carrying with it bits of sand and silt and clay. Over time, these particles settle and form layers upon layers, compacted and compressed into rock, each layer a record of the past."
By painting a vivid picture of this natural process, Upton invites us to marvel at the intricate workings of the earth, and to appreciate the beauty and complexity of the rocks and minerals that result.
Another notable aspect of Upton's poetry is her use of form and structure to convey meaning. In "The Crystal," for example, she uses a series of short, staccato lines to mimic the sharp angles and facets of a quartz crystal:
"Sharp edges, flat planes, a geometry of light. A crystal is a prism, a diamond in the rough."
By using this form, Upton not only captures the physical properties of the crystal, but also suggests its inherent beauty and value.
Overall, The How and Why of Rocks and Minerals is a stunning tribute to the geological wonders of our planet. Through her use of metaphor, imagery, and form, Lee Upton brings these materials to life, inviting us to marvel at their complexity and beauty. Whether you are a geology enthusiast or simply someone who appreciates the natural world, this collection is sure to inspire and delight.
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