Frost, Auden, and the Roots of Ecopoetry Open Access

Karras, John C. (2016)

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As evidence for humanity's negative effects on the Earth's climate compounds, the ability to effectively relay this information to the public has become increasingly critical. Today, climate change media is swamped with commercials, posters, cartoons, articles, and interviews - so much so that poetry is often overlooked. Ecopoetry nevertheless combines its accessibility with its capacity to spread concise emotional appeals in a way that makes it uniquely effective when matched against other forms of climate change media. While it is impossible to fully grasp climate change without understanding the scientific data supporting its existence, the public will not engage in our effort to save the planet without caring - this is why we need ecopoetry. "Frost, Auden, and the Roots of Ecopoetry" focuses on the evolution of ecopoetry and argues that modernist poets such as Robert Frost and W.H. Auden are necessary intermediaries between Romanticism and contemporary ecopoetry. Throughout their catalogues Frost and Auden restructure the Romantic concept of the "egotistical sublime" into an "everyday sublime," culminating in the transformation of nature poetry from a genre absorbed by nature's overwhelming grandeur into a genre largely rooted in environmental ethics and conservation.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction (1)

2. Robert Frost: Definitively Modern (8)

3. W.H. Auden's Relationship with the Natural World (28)

4. Conclusion (41)

5. Works Cited (47)

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