Green Movement Poets Analysis


(Critical Explorations in Poetry)

Despite this clear difference between Green movement poets and earlier nature poets, the movement has devoted much attention to these precursors. It interprets early nature poets, because of their extreme sensitivity to the environment, as having already been more responsive to grave dangers than the general public. At the conclusion of the dramatic poem Faust: Eine Tragödie, zweiter Teil (pb. 1833; The Tragedy of Faust, Part Two, 1838) by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832), for example, the protagonist uses demons to drain wetlands for agriculture. The project results in the death of an aged couple who will not relocate, and its digging becomes that of Faust’s own grave. Does such skepticism about technological progress (coupled with Goethe’s standing as a naturalist) make him a Green movement poet? Conversely, as an exponent of Faustian striving, was he a major voice for human domination of nature? Axel Goodbody’s Nature, Technology, and Cultural Change in Twentieth-Century German Literature: The Challenge of Ecocriticism (2007) faces the dilemma in forty-one pages on Goethe as an “ecophilosophical inspiration.” Similarly, as pioneers of Romantic nature poetry, William Wordsworth and other Lake poets are cited for anticipating the Green movement in Bryan L. Moore’s Ecology and Literature: Ecocentric Personification from Antiquity to the Twenty-first Century (2008) and Nicholas Roe’s The Politics of Nature: William Wordsworth and Some Contemporaries (2002). Other studies of precursors include Gyorgi Voros’s Notations of the Wild: Ecology in the...

(The entire section is 660 words.)