Imagining the Earth: Poetry and the Vision of Nature

Overview


A landmark work in the burgeoning field of literary ecology, Imagining the Earth explores the ways in which our attitudes toward nature are mirrored in and influenced by poetry. In the work of some of our most widely read poets, says John Elder, one can discern a resurgent vision of humanity in harmony with the rest of the natural order.

To show us the power of poetry to identify, interpret, and celebrate a wide range of issues related to nature and our place in it, Elder uses ...

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Overview


A landmark work in the burgeoning field of literary ecology, Imagining the Earth explores the ways in which our attitudes toward nature are mirrored in and influenced by poetry. In the work of some of our most widely read poets, says John Elder, one can discern a resurgent vision of humanity in harmony with the rest of the natural order.

To show us the power of poetry to identify, interpret, and celebrate a wide range of issues related to nature and our place in it, Elder uses numerous examples of works by Gary Snyder, Wendell Berry, A. R. Ammons, Denise Levertov, and William Everson. Elder places these poets within a cultural tradition flowing from William Wordsworth through Alfred North Whitehead, T. S. Eliot, and Robinson Jeffers, and uses their poems to illuminate the relationships between culture and wilderness, imagination and landscape, and science and poetry. Elder's commentaries are interlinked with two remarkable essays in which he describes his own moments of recognition with nature--moments engendered by, and in turn engendering, meditations on literature.

This new edition, which marks the first appearance of Imagining the Earth in paperback, includes a revised introduction and an additional concluding chapter that focuses on the poetry of Mary Oliver and bridges the decade since the book was first published in 1985.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Forcefully written . . . Imagining the Earth is a clear-headed, deeply-felt meditation on nature, poetry, and human community."--Hollins Critic

"Justly recognized as a pioneer work of ecocriticism, Elder's Imagining the Earth unquestionably remains one of the most intellectually venturesome contributions to this fast-growing field."--Lawrence Buell, author of The Environmental Imagination

"An insightful study of contemporary American nature poetry and its precursors, tracing a recurring pattern of estrangement, transformation, and reintegration that enacts a circuit of healing.”--Cheryll Glotfelty, University of Nevada, Reno

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780820318479
  • Publisher: University of Georgia Press
  • Publication date: 11/1/1996
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 264
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author


John Elder is Stewart Professor of English and Environmental Studies at Middlebury College. He is the author or editor of numerous books, including Reading the Mountains of Home and Nature Writing (coedited with Robert Finch).
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction to the Second Edition
Introduction 1
Sect. I Wasteland and Wilderness
1 The Covenant of Loss 7
2 Culture as Decay 24
3 Reinhabitation 40
Excursion: Hitching a Ride with the Cumberland Beggar
Sect. II A Something Given
4 The Footpath of Tradition 93
5 Bodies of Vision 116
6 Poetry and the Mind's Terrain 136
Excursion: Winter Without Snow
Sect. III The Science of the Heart
7 Structures of Evolving Consciousness 161
8 A Record of the Waves 185
9 The Wilderness at Poetry's Edge 207
10 Renewing the Question 216
Notes 229
Index 243
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