Filed Under (Adventure, Birds, D&R Canal & Towpath, Nature, New Jersey, Poetry, raptors, wild) by Carolyn Foote Edelmann on 07-11-2008

Great Blue with Supper


Joyce Lott is one of Princeton’s Cool Women Poets, –an eight-woman poetry critique and themed performance group with countless appearances, three anthologies and a CD to our credit.  Launched to hone each other’s work with committed poets whose writing and editing skills we knew well, we never expected to appear as a team in public. 

Micawber Books changed all that, on Valentine’s Day, 2000, asking us to celebrate the feast. 

Hence Hot Poems by Cool Women.  The media and our audiences loved both names; we’ve been ‘The Cools’ ever since. 

One of our most popular themes, just completed at our annual Grounds for Sculpture celebration, is “Cool Women, Forces of Nature.”  Of all the fine strong work zinging from page to sound on this day, Joyce’s “To the Great Blue Heron” remains my favorite. 

Of course, it has to be paired with Brenda Jones’ masterful capturing of a Great Blue carrying supper triumphantly above Lake Carnegie.

By the way, what is your favorite nature poem?

To The Great Blue Heron

Teach me to stand alone in cold water, to wait
poised for nourishment to drift my way
Show me how to bend my legs
so I move deliberately, looking neither right nor left
Teach me how to swallow without chewing,
to hold a fish in my gullet until its scales become wings

Show me how to puff down into a secret
so only those who know me can find me

Teach me how to open my wings and fly,
unexpected and perfect, a crone in the sky.






              Joyce Lott

8 Comments posted on "Joyce Lott’s Poem, To The Great Blue Heron"
Cynthia Goble on July 12th, 2008 at 12:45 pm #

This is such a great nature/spiritual poem and the photographs by Brenda Jones are terrific!

Tasha O'Neill on July 12th, 2008 at 4:01 pm #

Whenever I cross Lake Carnegie or am on US 1, I delight when the Great Blue crosses my path. From now on I have Joyce’s poem to accompany me as well.

Penelope Scambly Schott on July 13th, 2008 at 1:27 pm #

Now that I live in Portland, Oregon with its many great blue herons, I frequently surprise people here when I say that there are lots of great blues in New Jersey as well. That’s a strong poem.

Angel Joan on July 14th, 2008 at 5:25 pm #

I felt so free as my crone-Self as I read Joyce’s poem…I love all the cools and I so enjoy the creativity that flows through them..

Michael Redmond on July 15th, 2008 at 5:41 pm #

John Keats: “To Autumn”

Edward Carchia on July 21st, 2008 at 7:58 pm #

Edna St. Vincent Millay: “Afternoon on a Hill”

Joyce on July 24th, 2008 at 9:14 am #

Thanks, Carolyn. I feel honored and happy our heron is still soaring. Love, Joyce

Zoe Whyman on October 13th, 2008 at 4:58 pm #

I love this poem! I’d like to contact Joyce Lott for permission to use the poem on a trailhead bulletin board I am creating in Fort Collins Colorado. Thanks for considering it.

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  • About Author

                                     by Tasha O'Neill

    Carolyn Foote Edelmann is a poet, writer and photographer on nature, travel, history and art.

    She considers nature in general and the D&R Canal and Towpath in particular her university, mentor and constant inspiration - particularly from a kayak.

    Her quest is the wild that infuses our beleaguered state, the wild out our windows.