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Exploring John Muir’s Poetry of the Great Outdoors

This beautiful conjoining of the words of John Muir and imagery from the great outdoors is sure to inspire and energize you.

Words of John Muir combine with a variety of moving images to create an uplifting and awesome message for every aspiring or experienced outdoorsman.

Beautifully narrated by Lou Whittaker, Muir’s words are filled with passion, gratitude, wonder and awe.

John Muir (1838-1914), the patron saint of the wilderness, helped to spread the word on conservation of wild places in America. His writings and activism also helped start a conservation movement whose effects are still being actively pursued today.

The words spoken in this short film from Powercity Films, come from two separate writings of Muir’s. The first is from John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir (1938), and was written in around 1872. It reads, “The sun shines not on us but in us. The rivers flow not past, but through us, thrilling, tingling, vibrating every fiber and cell of the substance of our bodies, making them glide and sing. The trees wave and the flowers bloom in our bodies as well as our souls…”

It flows into a piece taken from Muir’s My First Summer in the Sierra (1911), which recited goes, “We are now in the mountains and they are in us, kindling enthusiasm, making every nerve quiver, filling every pore and cell of us. …thrilling with the air and trees, streams and rocks, in the waves of the sun,—a part of all nature, neither old nor young, sick nor well, but immortal.”

Then, the end of the first poem is spoken by Whittaker again, finishing with, “…and every bird song, wind song, and tremendous storm song of the rocks in the heart of the mountains is our song, our very own, and sings our love.”

Absolutely beautiful.

Like what you see here? You can read more great articles by David Smith at his facebook page, Stumpjack Outdoors.

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Exploring John Muir’s Poetry of the Great Outdoors