Tapping into poetry's potential to bring us back home to earth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Poetry, which from its earliest beginnings has been a form of relationship with the Earth, is a powerful tool to be used today in addressing today's environmental issues. It has a vital role to play in environmental education, plant conservation, environmental justice, and highlighting our innate need to protect, cultivate and be nurtured by the natural world. Since it always has been a form of relationship with the Earth and a way of expressing this relationship, we need to explore ways to stimulate development of environmental sensitivity and expression of people's creative potential through poetic endeavors. As an alternative to science, it can be an exciting way of discovering the environment and our place in it. Starting from the premise that poetry is one way of learning about environmental justice and conservation issues in our endangered world, I will define ecopoetry and provide a brief history of it, present arguments for using it to develop ecological literacy, and suggest resources for finding and using it in environmental education. Four questions will be considered: (1) What exactly is environmental poetry? (2) What are some convincing and logical arguments for using poetry to develop ecological literacy and a concern for environmental sustainability? (3) How exactly does poetry prepare the young to join the environmental movement? and (4) How does it instill in people a sense of responsibility for a sustainable future? I will provide specific pointers on how poetry can address environmental issues, and I will offer resources for finding and using poetry in environmental education. Finally, I will end with several poems to illustrate poetry's vital role in developing ecological literacy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-166
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Social Sustainability in Economic, Social and Cultural Context
Volume8
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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literacy
environmental education
poetry
environmental justice
environmental issue
resource
learning
sustainability
conservation
justice
history
sense of responsibility
resources
present
science

Keywords

  • Eco-poetry
  • Environmental sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)

Cite this

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