FSEM: Writing Ecology: Literature and Environment

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Archive for February, 2008

José Emilio Pacheco: for Tuesday, March 11

Hi all,

Here are the questions for the blog for the Tuesday after Spring Break:

After reading the Foreward (brief) to Selected Poems by José Emilio Pacheco, and the selections from two books of poetry, “No me preguntes cómo pasa el tiempo” (Don’t Ask Me How the Time Goes By), (pgs. 47-78), and “Irás y no volverás” (And So You Go, Never to Come Back), (pgs. 78-109), write about the following:

What are the general themes of this poetry?  What is the relationship between the poetic voice (the speaker of the poems) and the non-human world?  How is the non-human represented?  Choose three poems that stand out for you in the reading and briefly explain why, citing specific passages.

Muir and Milton for Tuesday

Hi everyone,

For Tuesday, after reading Kay Milton’s chapter “Knowing Nature Through Experience” alongside John Muir’s writings, post on the following questions:

How does John Muir’s perspective on nature, and on direct experience with the non-human world, differ from the perspectives proposed by other writers we have discussed (such as Whitman, Emerson, Thoreau and Bello)?  How would Cronon characterize Muir’s attitude toward “wilderness” and “the wilderness experience”?

What does Kay Milton have to say about  “Knowing Nature Through Experience”?  What is her primary argument?

Bello, Whitman and Sarmiento, for Tuesday

Hi everyone,

For Tuesday, after reading/rereading Sarmiento, and the first half of Whitman’s Song of Myself, write about the following connections by citing evidence from the texts:

How do Whitman and Bello (and Emerson as well) view the importance of direct experience? How do Whitman and Bello’s poetic texts view the relationship between humans and non-humans? According to Whitman, Bello and Emerson, what are the possible benefits of direct, first-hand connect with the non-human world?

Song of Myself was originally published in 1855, one year after Walden and 10 years after Facundo. In Whitman’s poetic vision–one that could be termed “all-embracing”–how would you characterize his perspective on nature and on modernization?