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The Accretionary Wedge #51 Call for Posts – GeoPoetry

The time for the 51st edition of the Accretionary Wedge is upon us and I am really excited to be hosting the Wedge here at GeoSphere this month and see all of the great submissions and ideas of the geo-blogosphere. The topic of this edition is Geo-poetry. Obviously that term could do with some explaining, especially since I’m the one who made it up.

As geologists/geology enthusiasts we love to talk about the amazing and inspiring features we see in the world around us and many of us express this excitement and passion with our blogs or on twitter, usually in the form of prose. However, there are other mediums of expression out there that we don’t usually employ to describe our favourite geological discoveries. This wedge is about flexing our creative muscles and using another popular form of expression: poetry.

Yes, poetry. In this wedge I encourage people to wax poetic about anything geological they would like, in any poetic style. Be it limerick, haiku or sonnet. Of course, you don’t have to write your own poem if that is not your thing. Find a geology/earth themed poem that already exists and explain why you like it and what about it moves you. So lets all connect to the bard hidden within us and slam out some great poetry!

I’ll post an example later this week…once I have finished my grant applications and have time to get poetic.

Submissions are due by November 1. I’ll combine them all into an anthology of geo-poems and post here so we can all enjoy.

A wall in Dawson City, Yukon showing some lines from the Spell of the Yukon by Robert Service. (Photo: Matt Herod)



NOTE: I realize that the 50th wedge is still ongoing at Georneys but I thought I’de get going with the 51st to give everyone lots of time.

Matt Herod is a Ph.D Candidate in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Ottawa in Ontario, Canada. His research focuses on the geochemistry of iodine and the radioactive isotope iodine-129. His work involves characterizing the cycle and sources of 129I in the Canadian Arctic and applying this to long term radioactive waste disposal and the effect of Fukushima fallout. His project includes field work and lab work at the André E. Lalonde 3MV AMS Laboratory. Matt blogs about any topic in geology that interests him, and attempts to make these topics understandable to everyone. Tweets as @GeoHerod.


  1. I think that I shall never see
    A lava flow more sweet than thee.
    Thy blackened edges, smould’ring still,
    That skirt around the little hill
    And leave a green kipuka bright
    Illumed by lava day and night.
    The steady fumes of CO2
    With sulphur touches through and through.

    So lovely is thy lethal heat,
    The radiation by my feet
    That indicates the magma’s reach
    From mountain high to black sand beach.
    When first I knew thee, thine own birth
    Was posited as cracking earth
    And isostatic movements great,
    Yet now I know ’tis moving plates.

    I long one day to see thee more,
    To walk upon thy shifting shore,
    To watch the glow upon the rise
    That shows where vent and tunnel lies.
    I’ll see thee yet, and walk thy ways
    In shoes that have seen better days,
    And give to Pele that which she
    Demands of vulcan-philes like me.

    • Amazing poem!! You are a gifted poet! Thanks for your submission and your comment. You are the first so far.

  2. Here’s my offering:

    Thanks! (great topic btw)

  3. Here’s mine: Oh Lovely Rock, by Robinson Jeffers

  4. I’m in with a song – but music is poetry to my ears.

    • Wonderful post! Great poetry/song! By the way, I’m writing this reply from Washington DC. I am in town to see a Supreme Court hearing on a case that my aunt ruled on. I just hope I still have power to my hotel room tomorrow and a flight out on Tuesday!! The news is making me nervous!!!

  5. For the Accretionary Wedge’s GeoPoetry…

    In The Beginning
    (for Doc Mears, Univ. of Wyoming)

    The professor enters the lecture hall silently.
    He loves the anticipation, the sequence of classes,
    row upon row of young students, semester on semester,
    like the strata beneath his boot; he finds himself
    firmly within the infinite.

    Gazing up to his new crop, cigar snuffed on the chalk tray,
    stub in the pocket of his ancient jacket, battered
    slacks stuffed in boots caked in mud that reek
    of deep time. I lean forward.

    The last of the cigar smoke rises past his wide ears,
    close-cropped hair, almost moist eyes, he sighs and says,
    “Well, I think it’s time to begin.”

    Geology 101. High school a dim memory,
    many smoky years ago; all those toilets cleaned,
    trash collected, lawns mown, tables bussed, nails banged,
    all those rock towers climbed with foreign labels: sandstone, granite.

    “Geology.” the professor says, in a calm strong voice.
    “Why would anyone want to study geology?” He walks
    to the chalkboard and writes in huge capitols, G, E, O, stops,
    cocks his head back to the 150 students, looks right at me.

    “Because we love the earth and we want to learn
    as much about it as we possibly can,” returns to the board,
    finishes spelling out, L, O, G, Y, turns to face his captives
    and says, “At least, I hope that’s why we study geology.”

    I see years opening up: walking through that breached anticline,
    traversing this topographically reversed basaltic ridge,
    climbing an aplite dike into the sky, wandering
    to planets beyond the sun, to the most distant stars,
    feeling at home more than ever.

    • good job, Dan.

  6. My contribution will also be a song, but it’s a really catchy one. Promise. It won’t make your friends want to hit you at all if you end up singing it constantly for the rest of the day… 😉

  7. You’ll find my contribution here:

  8. I got way too wrapped up in Halloween and spaced this. Hope it’s not too late to slip one in! Guest poem by one of my readers, geologist Karen Locke:

  9. And one o’ me own, if I may sneak this in sheepishly after the deadline:

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