January 21, 2020

If we cannot accurately describe nature, how can we respect the environment?

Claire Roberts

PoetryIris Lyric, 2020

My poem ‘Iris Lyric’ considers ‘something that cannot speak’; the environment, and women’s role within the environment. Broadly ecofeminist, this poem connects violence against women and girls with violence against nature, by taking a single flower – the iris – as its vehicle for reflection. Whoever feels addressed by the iris has sympathy for the iris. This is a poem about awareness, moving from internal fantasy to being fully aware. The yellow wild flag iris is native to Scotland and could serve as an emblem for all that may be lost in climate change. It is also an emblem for diversity, vulnerability and a past we cannot change but a future that remains open and the sum of individual actions. The poem asks that we trust nature and seek harmony with women – a message that speaks to Scotland’s commitment to the environment and gender equality and all of our possible futures.