Tag Archives: National Poetry Month

Wednesday Wisdom – Native American Proverb

native american proverb final

Original image by Steve Arena/USFWS

Wendell Berry, in his 1971 essay on wilderness, said “I am speaking of the life of a man who knows that the world is not given by his fathers, but borrowed from his children; who has undertaken to cherish it and do it no damage….”  John James Audubon said, “A true conservationist is a man who knows that the world is not given by his fathers, but borrowed from his children.” Meanwhile, this quote is chiseled on the National Aquarium building in Washington, DC as a quote from wilderness crusader and environmental activist David Brower.  Beyond that, Jane Goodall has  referenced this contending “we are stealing from our children,” not borrowing as to pay them back.  Attribution of this quote seems less important than to acknowledge it as a universal conservation message.

This family of Canada Geese (Branta canadensis) makes its way at dawn across the Lower Pool at Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, Concord, MA.  Thanks to FWS volunteer and photographer Steve Arena  for his photographic storytelling at Great Meadows.  Since today’s wisdom is about caring for our future by nurturing the present, Steve’s image reminds us “Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –over and over announcing your place in the family of things.”  (Mary Oliver, “Wild Geese”).  After all, it is still April and it is still  National Poetry Month!!



Wednesday Wisdom – Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes - anne owl

Original image by Anne Post/USFWS

April 2016 marks the 20th anniversary of  #National Poetry Month.  Our Wednesday Wisdom features poet Langston Hughes, an American poet, novelist, and playwright whose African-American themes made him a primary contributor to the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s.  His poem, “Dreams,” compliments the image of Galileo, the great horned owl, who lives at the York Center for Wildlife in Cape Neddick, ME.  Since his injury and rehabilitation he is now an ambassador for owl and raptor education for area children and adults.  Galileo can no longer fly but he is part of an organization whose mission and dream is to provide medical services, safe sanctuary and humane treatment for sick, injured and orphaned wildlife until they can be released back into the wild.  Our National Wildlife Refuges often partner with local wildlife rehab facilities for outreach and up close wildlife viewing and study.