Merging Voices in Gary Snyder Poems: A Post-Humanist Paradigm
Eco-poetics, post-humanism, “The Great Mother,” “ Night Herons"
This article examines the American poet Gary Snyder’s discourse on eco-poetics through the two poems, “The Great Mother” and “Night Herons,” that has been taken for study from his extensive poetic oeuvre. Here, I wish to argue that Snyder’s notion of a transcultural and “larger” humanism, perhaps a “post-humanism,” emerged out of an engagement with non-Western (especially Asian) religions and modes of thought, especially Zen Buddhism, apart from the influence of Native American. These cross-fertilizing influences form the basis of Snyder’s eco-poetics. For Snyder, traditional humanism ignores non-human others and as an eco-poet, he theorizes ecological disorder and disruption through an environmental imagination, one that is based on his understanding of ecosystems. He is eco-centric in his belief that humans are part of nature and his poetic enterprise includes the pre-modern as well as postmodern or post-human. Nature appears silent and voiceless but nature speaks, though not in human language. As an eco-poet, Snyder merges his poetic tone with the voice of the non-human nature and this oneness makes him a prominent post-human poet. Through his poems, Snyder attempts to sensitize us to the constant disruptions of our environment by rationalized, capitalist and essentially Western technology. His post-civilizational, post- human “culture of wildness” suggests a way of widening our horizon of expectations, to move us beyond the limitations of being purely human. In fact, he wants us to deal directly with our increasingly chaotic ecological situation.
Article Details
Unique Paper ID: 155420

Publication Volume & Issue: Volume 9, Issue 1

Page(s): 870 - 873
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