The Common Earth

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Humanities Paper 2
Nature is the world around us, the Earth’s natural environment that exists without human intervention and man-made elements. As humans, we continually manipulate the environment for our own benefit, on the base of feeling superior or all-powerful. It is often forgotten that we are merely one of many organisms, and that we are not able to survive outside of the natural world that we frequently neglect. We have lost the appreciation and gratitude for the natural world we come from, and have been doing our best to destroy it. In the poem “The Common Living Dirt,” Marge Piercy uses descriptive imagery to convey the beauty of nature, and the idea that we must reconnect and appreciate the dirt and land that we all came from. Similarly, Michael Jackson’s “Earth Song” has a powerful message: stop the destruction of nature and society. Both “The Common Living Dirt” and “Earth Song” address the sabotage of nature, however Jackson’s song is more influential with its powerful, catchy music. Piercy’s poem paints a beautiful picture of nature with a vivid description of images. For example, “the fragrant busy soil the worm passes through her gut and the beetle swims in like a lake,” gives the reader a sense of the different living aspects of nature. In the poem, the poet persona speaks to nature itself, and uses personification to describe the different aspects and qualities of nature. Portraying the garden and land in human terms makes it easier to empathize with, and relate to. Piercey emphasizes nature’s beauty and purity, and suggests that we need to realize and appreciate this beauty. However, we attempt to poison the very ground that we have come from, using chemicals and fire. She states, “…because you can die of the poison that kills the beetle and the slug, we must come again to worship you on our knees, the common living dirt.” Piercey argues that we can get back in touch with nature and the natural world by worshipping the dirt and...
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