In the Way of Nature

Ecology and Westward Expansion in the Poetry of Anne Bradstreet, Elizabeth Bishop and Amy Clampitt


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About the Book

Exploring the connections between nature and culture, this volume discusses the works of three female American poets: Anne Bradstreet (1612–1672), Elizabeth Bishop (1911–1979), and Amy Clampitt (1920–1994).
Though only Bradstreet was born outside North America, each poet is shown to grapple with the ways that European civilization was transformed on the new continent. The author’s analysis highlights the interconnected themes of travel, geography, cartography and wildness.

About the Author(s)

Robert Boschman is an associate professor of English at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Bibliographic Details

Robert Boschman
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 236
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2009
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3356-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vii
Preface      1
Introduction: A Community of Peril      7

1. Anne Bradstreet: Questions of “Travail” to New England      31
2. Elizabeth Bishop: To Dream Our Dreams—Questions of Distance and Desire      61
3. Amy Clampitt: “Distance is dead”      88
4. Anne Bradstreet: “Contemplations” and the Problem of Nature      121
5. Elizabeth Bishop: Garden Knowledge; Wild Knowledge      142
6. Amy Clampitt: “Let There Be Sundews”      175

Notes      201
Bibliography      209
Index      217

Book Reviews & Awards

“Robert Boschman provides a strong ecocritcal framework as well as a fresh approach to American literary history…. The result is a rich intertextual interplay that opens up the poems and makes them accessible to an important critical conversation…excellent”—University of Toronto Quarterly; “the author provides meaningful context and scholarship as he addresses both theme and structure for each poem. Though these meticulous close readings will be valuable in and of themselves, Boschman’s study also stands out as timely and relevant…useful, comprehensive overview…recommended”—Choice; “an insightful study of animals in Bishop’s poetry”—Elizabeth Bishop Society of Nova Scotia; “Boschman’s work is fascinating and presents many insightful and well-articulated ideas”—The Goose: A Journal of Literature, Environment and Culture in Canada; “Robert Boschman boldly voyages across three centuries of American poetry, using metaphors of travel, geography, and cartography to analyze the poets in his book…. His investigation reminds us that poetry has a critical role in the ecological discussions of the day, even if that intervention reiterates the complexities of the natural world that no amount of travel can capture.”—ISLE (Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment.)