Chapter

Learning to Love Creation

John Gatta

in Making Nature Sacred

Published in print October 2004 | ISBN: 9780195165050
Published online January 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780199835140 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195165055.003.0011
 Learning to Love Creation

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Unlike most environmental prose, present-day “ecopoetry” centers its imaginative attention on praise rather than protest, love of earth rather than rage. It reflects newfound awareness of nature’s violence, as seen in Mary Oliver’s poems; or of what science discloses about nature’s unseen and unfathomable intricacy, as seen in Pattiann Rogers’s poetry. Surprisingly, though, the meditative temper of contemporary ecopoetry often sustains a religious impulse of wonder concerning humanity’s relation to the nonhuman world. Varied forms of this earth-centered religious disposition can be witnessed in Wendell Berry’s Sabbath Poems, Gary Snyder’s Mountains and Rivers Without End, and Denise Levertov’s late series of meditations on the near-presence of Mount Rainier in Seattle.

Keywords: ecopoetry; Wendell Berry; Mary Oliver; Pattiann Rogers; Gary Snyder; Denise Levertov; Sabbath; meditative; religious; science

Chapter.  8870 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Religious Studies

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