The Obligation To Endure Gives Us The Right To Know
Rachel Carson's homepage credits her mother with instilling Ms. Carson with a life-long love of nature. I'll die happy if I'm able to give G/Son such a love.
She wrote pamphlets on conservation and natural resources and edited scientific articles, but in her free time turned her government research into lyric prose, first as an article "Undersea" (1937, for the Atlantic Monthly), and then in a book, Under the Sea-Wind (1941). In 1952 she published her prize-winning study of the ocean, The Sea Around Us, which was followed by The Edge of the Sea in 1955. These books constituted a biography of the ocean and made Carson famous as a naturalist and science writer for the public. Carson resigned from government service in 1952 to devote herself to her writing.
She wrote several other articles designed to teach people about the wonder and beauty of the living world, including "Help Your Child to Wonder," (1956) and "Our Ever-Changing Shore" (1957), and planned another book on the ecology of life. Embedded within all of Carson's writing was the view that human beings were but one part of nature distinguished primarily by their power to alter it, in some cases irreversibly.
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Rachel Carson died in 1964 after a long battle against breast cancer. Her witness for the beauty and integrity of life continues to inspire new generations to protect the living world and all its creatures.
Wikipedia says that the title of Ms. Carson's masterpiece, Silent Spring, was inspired by a poem by Keats:
The book argued that uncontrolled and unexamined pesticide use was harming and even killing not only animals and birds, but also humans. Its title was meant to evoke a spring season in which no bird songs could be heard, because they had all vanished as a result of pesticide abuse. Its title was inspired by a poem by John Keats,"La Belle Dame sans Merci", which contained the lines "The sedge is wither'd from the lake, And no birds sing."
Tomorrow, May 27th, is the 103rd anniversary of her birth. And, a full Moon. As we contemplate the full catastrophe that is the Gulf of Mexico, I intend to invoke Ms. Carson on the full Moon and call for her aid. You come with me, now, won't you?
I'm a woman, a Witch, a mother, a grandmother, an eco-feminist, a gardener, a reader, a writer, and a priestess of the Great Mother Earth. Hecate appears in the
Homeric Ode to Demeter, which tells of Hades who caught Persophone
"up reluctant on his golden car and bare her away lamenting. . . . But no one, either of the deathless gods or of mortal men, heard her voice, nor yet the olive-trees bearing rich fruit: only tenderhearted Hecate, bright-coiffed, the daughter of Persaeus, heard the girl from her cave . . . ."