Raising ecological consciousness through eco-sensitive poetry
Eco-poetry can inspire a broad awareness for our environment by presenting different ecological perspectives. Eco-poetry is often marked by an appreciation for nature as self-regulating cyclic systems, separate from nature and environmental poetry. Eco-poetry is clear and somewhat minimalist; rather than experimenting with visual and textual design, eco-poets dedicate their efforts to the aesthetic flow of their work by creating a fluid message through organized stanzas.
“Today we very much need sustainable poetry.” --L.M. Scigaj
sus·tain·able adj sə-ˈstānə-bəl -Definition of SUSTAINABLE1 : capable of being sustained2 a : of, relating to, or being a method of harvesting orusing a resource so that the resource is not depleted orpermanentlydamaged <sustainable techniques> <sustainable agriculture>b : of or relating to a lifestyle involving the use ofsustainable methods <sustainable society>— sus·tain·abil·i·ty noun
Ecological poetry promotes awareness of the environment and the natural world, including its current realistic state. Ecopoetry inspires awareness by presenting ecological perspectives of sustainability. This poetry implies that the interests of humans and nature should be balanced.
This message becomes attainable when ourrelationship to nature and our environment isrecognized ~> the option for sustainability can beconsidered as a part of our daily lives. Ecopoetry is a possible medium to purvey this message.
“The ethics behind sustainability are derived from the same principle of bio-centric harmony. Simply stated, sustainability means that humans can harvest a sufficient amount of a natural resource for consumption so long as we do not deplete the resource base” (Scigaj 78). Implying the need for bio-centric harmony is an indicative attribute of eco-poetry.
Through a creative medium, eco-poetry helps to create recognition of our interdependency on the biosphere. Writers are able to compose and inspire awareness with eco-poetry, not simply by the use of hard science, but by understanding our existence and how it correlates with nature, and the environment.
Eco-poetry is clear and somewhat minimalist; rather than experimenting with visual and textual design, eco-poets dedicate their efforts to the aesthetic flow of their work by creating a fluid message through organized stanzas. Eco-poetry is often marked by an appreciation for nature as self-regulating cyclic systems, separate from nature and environmental poetry.
It helps us define our relationship to nature: “A sustainable poem is the verbal record of the precept, of the poet’s originary perception” (Scigaj 80). “It is the verbal record of an interactive encounter...between the human psyche and nature, where nature retains its autonomy-- where nature is not dominated, reduced to immanence, or reduced to a reliably benign aesthetic backdrop for anthropocentric concerns” (Scigaj 80).
Eco-poets actively assist nature in keeping a form of separateness and autonomy, and also equality, through awareness maintained by creating ecopoetry. Ultimately, the language of expression and ecological awareness is homologous to the way our ecosystems function. Language as a form of expression in eco-poetry stands apart from other creative forms of writing. It is a flexible tool that relates the experiences and perceptions of the corporeal body.
Abbs, Peter. Earth Songs: A Resurgence Anthology of Contemporary Eco-Poetry. Green Books UK, 2003.Fesltiner, John. Can Poetry Save the Earth?: A FieldGuide to Nature Poems. Yale University Press, 2009.Scigaj, Leonard M. Sustainable Poetry: Four American Ecopoets. Lexington: UP of Kentucky, 1999.