It is a pleasure and a privilege to eavesdrop on your conversation here, Dave and Kate.

To me, all good poetry is nature poetry; I’m not in the habit of sorting either the poems I read or the poems I write by subject matter. Some poets who treat nature as an ideological touchstone or an excuse for pseudo-mystical rambling do leave me cold, as do poets who — like many of the supposedly great English poets of the 18th century and before — rarely admit an unconventional natural image into their work, to say nothing of a named species.

This may be facile, but the first thing that struck me when I read this passage, Dave, is that I might say the same about (for lack of a better term) religious poetry. Poets who treat God either as an ideological touchstone or as an excuse for pseudo-mystical rambling don’t tend to be my cup of tea, but neither do poets who seem to turn a blind eye to the presence of something enduring and ineffable in creation.

I’m not, of course, saying that poets must be religious, or that poems must (or even necessarily should) dwell on this stuff overtly. But so much of what you say about bringing the real resonance of the natural world into the written word resonates for me on a spiritual level as well as an intellectual one.