Poetry and Ecology in the Age of Milton and Marvell
Routledge, 2017 M03 2 - 276 pages
The focus of this study is the perception of nature in the language of poetry and the languages of natural philosophy, technology, theology, and global exploration, primarily in seventeenth-century England. Its premise is that language and the perception of nature vitally affect each other and that seventeenth-century poets, primarily John Milton, Andrew Marvell, and Henry Vaughan, but also Margaret Cavendish, Thomas Traherne, Anne Finch, and others, responded to experimental proto-science and new technology in ways that we now call 'ecological' - concerned with watersheds and habitats and the lives of all creatures. It provides close readings of works by these poets in the contexts of natural history, philosophy, and theology as well as technology and land use, showing how they responded to what are currently considered ecological issues: deforestation, mining, air pollution, drainage of wetlands, destruction of habitats, the sentience and intelligence of animals, overbuilding, global commerce, the politics of land use, and relations between social justice and justice towards the other-than-human world. In this important book, Diane McColley demonstrates the language of poetry, the language of responsible science, and the language of moral and political philosophy all to be necessary parts of public discourse.
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Adam and Eve Adam’s allegorical Andrew Marvell animals Appleton House Bacon beasts beauty Bentley biblical birds body Book called common country house poems Cowley creation creatures divine dominion doth draining Dryden early modern earth ecological English ethical Fairfax fish flesh flow’rs flowers forest fowl fruit Fumifugium garden Genesis Georgics God’s gold Grew habitats Hartlib hath Heav’n heaven Henry Vaughan human hunting hylozoism John Evelyn John Milton kind land language living London Lord man’s Margaret Cavendish Marvell Marvell’s matter metaphor Milton monistic moral mountains natural history natural world nature’s Nehemiah Grew nightingale Nunappleton Ornithology Paradise Lost perception philosophers plants poetry poets political praise Raphael Ray’s reason responsibility river Royal Society Rudrum Samuel Hartlib Satan says sense serpent seventeenthcentury song soul species spirit stanza Sylva thee theology things Thomas thou Topsell tortoise trees Vergil vitalist wild Wilkins womb woods words writes