Applying Fukuoka to Poetry

Friday, December 3, 2010

Can we apply Masanobu Fukuoka's 'Four Principals of Natural Farming' to poetry? The principals are: 1. No cultivation. 2. No chemical fertiliser or prepared compost. 3. No weeding by tillage or herbicides. 4. No dependence on chemicals. Here goes:

1. No cultivation – no paper; no page*.

2. No chemical fertiliser or prepared compost – no vowels.

3. No weeding by tillage or herbicides – no consonants.

4. No dependence on chemicals – no alphabets.

*Nevertheless, the perennial problem of representation remains.

Site-specific question: Is the metabolic potential for a biophysical poetry – a poetry of the body and its environment (in an era of unfolding climate chaos and fossil energy descent) – an essential transition from catabolic literatures, which feed upon each other and perpetuate the systems of art that mediate our logic and make us increasingly separate from the experience of everyday life?

Photos: Meg Ulman


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