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The Earth has turned staunchly through the seasons; we’re at the end of summer and will soon be drenched in autumn colours. I’m Kim from Writing in North Norfolk, welcoming poets to the final August Quadrille, in which we take any meaning of one word and transform it into 44 poetic words.

The Oxford English Dictionary has a range of definitions for the word ‘earth’ (from the Old English eorðan), as well as interesting phrases and compound words.  I’d like to share some of them:

  • The ground considered simply as a solid stratum or surface on which human beings, animals, and things associated with them rest or move.
  • The world considered as the dwelling place of humans.
  • The soil as suitable for cultivation.
  • The ground considered as a place for burying the dead.
  • An animal’s dwelling or hiding place; the hole or lair of a burrowing mammal, esp. a fox or badger.
  • Clay used for making pottery.

We might go to the ends of the earth; something can cost the earth; we can be the salt of the earth or go from earth to earth; try to move heaven and earth; run or go to earth; be down to earth or come to earth with a bang; and even feel the earth move!

‘Earth’ was a word used often by William Shakespeare, for example, in Romeo & Juliet he wrote of “Earth treadding stars, that make darke heauen” and in Cymbeline “This earth-vexing smart”.

Tolkien created Middle Earth and witches use earth-magic; we can be earth-bound, earth-coloured or even earth-covered, among other interesting compound words.  And, of course, we have the humble earthworm!

Jules Renard wrote: “On earth there is no heaven, but there are pieces of it” and according to John Keats, “The poetry of the earth is never dead.”  I love the imagery of these lines from ‘October’ by Louise Glück:

I remember how the earth felt, red and dense,
in stiff rows, weren’t the seeds planted,
didn’t vines climb the south wall

didn’t we plant the seeds,
weren’t we necessary to the earth…?

Image result for the sower jean francois millet

The Sower by Jean Francois Millet, image found on WikiArt

So this week, dig deep into the earthy depths of your imagination and write a poem of exactly 44 words (not counting your title), including the word earth.

Here’s how to Quadrille:

– Write a poem of exactly 44 words, including the word earth.
– Put your poem on your blog and link back to this post.
– Link it up to our Mr. Linky.
– Visit other blogs. Enjoy some amazing poets. Comment. Come back later this week and write another one, and visit some more. Comment some more. Create as many poems as you please, including ones with all the words.