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Caribbean Journal of Education

Why Should Ground Doves fly?

Publication Date: 
September 2013

Environmental writing and criticism have tended to stress the value of local knowledges and experience, which are often perceived as inherently resisting processes within modernity that separate human beings from direct, sensuous apprehension of their environment. More recently, however, writers such as Ursula Heise have begun to argue for a more ‘cosmopolitan’ form of consciousness in the modern world, thoughtfully engaged with modes of apprehending environmental connectivity (particularly within the new media) that have a global reach. The relationship between the local and the cosmopolitan has been centrally important within many poetic traditions, of course, though arguably this relationship has become more fraught and complex in a globalized era characterized by deep rooted post-colonial tensions. This is especially true of Caribbean poetry, where the problem of grounding identity within the local assumes a problematic focus within the politics of the region, and where the way particular island identities are constructed through perceived affinities cross-threading the archipelago is itself imbricated within a global imaginary. This paper explores some of these issues from an ecocritical perspective, by comparing distinctive aspects of the work of Lorna Goodison and Derek Walcott.

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