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ERIC Number: EJ926240
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-May
Pages: 20
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 50
ISSN: ISSN-0010-0994
The Case of Cotton Mather's Dog: Reflection and Resonance in American Ecopoetics
Killingsworth, M. Jimmie
College English, v73 n5 p498-517 May 2011
Reflection in its most general sense just means thinking, so that a reflection upon nature amounts to thinking about the more-than-human world. Implied, however, is a particular kind of thinking, first and foremost a product of philosophical idealism and the analogical or mimetic imagination. This implication goes largely unexplored in "ecopoetics"--defined as the theory and practice of a creative relationship with the processes and products of one's world expressed in writing, whether poetry or prose, or in some other medium entirely. In American ecopoetics, reflection is a commonplace, a dead or dying metaphor. The purpose of this essay is to revive it, remove it from the bank of unquestioned assumptions, consider its pervasiveness in ecopoetics, and finally consider alternatives, above all "resonance", a term from systems theory that has proved attractive in current ecocriticism. Resonance is in many ways a desirable replacement for the dead metaphorical commonplace reflection, but an even stronger alternative requires serious questioning of the field's romantic and transcendentalist traditions, as well as increased attention to the physical and political contexts of writing.
National Council of Teachers of English. 1111 West Kenyon Road, Urbana, IL 61801-1096. Tel: 877-369-6283; Tel: 217-328-3870; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States