Green man Hopkins : poetry and the Victorian ecological by John Parham

By John Parham

This publication, the 1st to contemplate Gerard Manley Hopkins as an ecological author, explores the measurement that social ecology deals to an ecocriticism hitherto ruled by means of romantic nature writing. The case for a 'green Hopkins' is made via a paradigm of 'Victorian Ecology' that expands the scope of present experiences in Victorian literature and technological know-how. Parham argues that Hopkins built a two-fold realizing of ecology - as a systematic philosophy built round ecosystems idea; and as a corresponding idea of society organised round the sustainable use of strength - in addition to a corresponding poetic perform. In a thorough new analyzing of the poems, he means that Hopkins translated an cutting edge nature poetry, during which rhythm conveyed a nature characterized through dialectical strength alternate, right into a social 'ecopoetry' that embodied the environmental effect of Victorian 'risk' society on its human inhabitants. situated inside of a 'Victorian ecological mind's eye' that fused romanticism and pragmatism, the publication perspectives Hopkins' paintings as indicating the worth of reconciling a deep ecological statement of the intrinsic price of (nonhuman) nature with social ecology's extra pragmatic makes an attempt to critique and re-conceptualise human lifestyles.

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Through the poetic image, oneness with the world can be experienced directly rather than yearned for elegiacally in nostalgia […] or the imagined good life of primitivism. (154) An even more specific sense of the way in which poetry does this is elaborated by means of reference to Paul Ricoeur’s essay ‘Writing as a Problem for Literary Criticism and Philosophical Hermeneutics’. For Ricoeur, Bate explains, the problem with most writing is that “it detaches the ‘said’ from the act of ‘saying’, the ‘meaning’ of an utterance from the ‘event’ of an utterance” (249).

As part of this, I wish to suggest that the notion of a pragmatic, political ecocriticism might also be extended so as to encompass poetry. While poetry has already been acknowledged as significant in terms of literature’s ability to shape an ecological awareness, it has largely been associated, as we have seen, with the deep ecological component of that philosophy. In virtually all of the most prominent conceptions ecopoetry has been connected, explicitly by Bryson and Bate, to nature poetry (see 2002: 2).

Bate summarises this as follows: The consciousness which experiences the poetic image becomes ‘naïve’ in Schiller’s sense of being at one with, not self-reflexively apart from, the world. Through the poetic image, oneness with the world can be experienced directly rather than yearned for elegiacally in nostalgia […] or the imagined good life of primitivism. (154) An even more specific sense of the way in which poetry does this is elaborated by means of reference to Paul Ricoeur’s essay ‘Writing as a Problem for Literary Criticism and Philosophical Hermeneutics’.

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