I haven’t posted for a while since my mother’s death, but have been busy writing a long suite called Grief, began November 22 when my mother was sent home from hospital in England with end-of-life care. I had just spent 3 months with her in the previous 12 months organising care, being a companion and cooking for her.
I think of ‘Grief’ as a poetic diary not a poem, there is exposition, narrative as well as lyric. No need to claim symbolic capital, the only privilege is having the time each day working the text and a camera. I was taking photographs as I went along, my daily practice, with no thought I would compile a chronology. Most days I took many, one day just the one.
I gave my first reading of extracts at the Archive 18 Feb.
Just came across, by chance my name when Emma Clare Strang wrote about ecopoetry and accessed my PhD, which I can’t believe is nearly twenty years old and someone has read it.
The examiners gave it great reviews. I offered a scaled back version to one academic publisher in Australia and they said it was too academic.
After writing so much prose I wanted to get back into poetry, and put it aside.
Bennett, John, ‘A New Defence Of Poetry: And New Possibilities From Hypertext To Ecopoetry’ PhD Thesis, University of Wollongong, 2004,
‘Really helpful thesis, particularly on his take on Bate’s Song Of The Earth, which he criticises for denying ecopoetry’s ability to deal with a practical discourse: ‘Ecopoetics can concern itself with praxis through ecological sciences or environmental management, since it is a tool for thinking through green issues.’ The PhD includes sections on Murray and Snyder as ecopoets, on the thinking of Heidegger, Wendell Berry, Lawrence Buell, amongst others. Bennett places emphasis on the didactic, pedagogical and polymathist characteristics of ecopoetry, arguing that ecopoetry is inherently didactic not in a sermonizing way but as ’emergent, processural dialectic’. He cites Wendell Berry’s take on morality as ‘long-term practicality’.’
A beautiful morning today