Anthropocentrism and the Soul of Hopkins’s Ecopoetics JULIA F. SAVILLE oday, anthropocentrism— that “[c]oncern for ourselves at the expense of Tconcern for the non h-uman world”—is considered by many ecologists to be one of the fundamenta cl auses of environmental degradation that, left unaddressed, threatens potential disaste A r. s Andrew Dobson puts it, to “d -e throne h uman interests as the centerpiece of p lio ti cal life and extend ethical concern deep into the nat ra ul world,” we need a “radically changed state of co- n sciousness,” one that refuses exploitative practices characteristic of “hum an- instrumental” thinking and cultivates a sense of self dependent on and enriched by “the widest po s si ble identic fi ation with the non h -uman world” (pp. 31, 38). The poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins, vibrant with ce b le rations of flora and fauna, kingfishers and skylarks, the “low lull- off” of the ocean and “cordial air” of the woods, seems calculated to inspire precisely such a change of co - n sciousness, such a sense of selves dependent on and enriched by nonhuman being for which ecocritics such as Dobson call. What is more, the value that
Victorian Poetry – West Virginia University Press
Published: Oct 5, 2018
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