No one could write truthfully about the sea and leave out the poetry

jellyfish reflection

There is wonder and beauty and majesty in them

The winds, the sea, and the moving tides are what they are. If there is wonder and beauty and majesty in them, science will discover these qualities. If they are not there, science cannot create them. If there is poetry in my book about the sea, it is not because I deliberately put it there, but because no one could write truthfully about the sea and leave out the poetry.

by Rachel Carson (May 27, 1907 – April 14, 1964)
from her Acceptance speech of the National Book Award for Nonfiction (1952)
available in Lost Woods: The Discovered Writing of Rachel Carson (1999)
image – marfis75

Earth Day Poetitude

Here I am at three in the morning, three hours after Earth Day, unable to sleep, unwilling to let the sun come up without having excerpted Rachel Carson.

Rachel Carson is best known for Silent Spring (1962). In 1958 a friend wrote to her for help, describing the effects of pesticides on a bird sanctuary. Carson, a Marine Biologist, was moved to research what indiscriminate use of these poisons were doing to our environment. The publicity stirred up by Silent Spring is sometimes credited with helping to jump start the environmental movement. Pesticide awareness is what it is today because she had the bravery to speak out.


You may have noticed that I’ve been on the hunt for dragon quotes. I’ll give you more dragons next week, but the next few quotes will be from Rachel Carson.

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