Ecopoetics

“Ecopoetics” is an ecocritical neologism referring to the incorporation of an ecological or environmental perspective into the study of poetics, and into the reading and writing of (mainly) literary works.

“Poetics” and “poetry” derive from the classical Greek word “poiesis,” meaning “making,” and as Bate observes in his landmark theorization of ecopoiesis, this is an activity that might in principle be practiced in any medium (Bate 2000, 45). Making is by no means an exclusively human practice. Many other species make things, some of which display not only high levels of craftsmanship but also an aesthetic sensibility, as Darwin observed of the highly decorated structures created by the Australian male bowerbird, the sole purpose of which is evidently to charm the female. The natural systems that have enabled the emergence of these diverse creative practices might also be seen as poietic or, rather, autopoietic, continuously generating …

This essay may be found on page 79 of the printed volume.

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