Ecocritical Essay

due in class Thursday May 3 2007
length: 750 words; counts 15% of grade

This is an analysis and appreciation of one or more ecoliterary works--poems, stories, or essays. I'd prefer that you write about works read for this class, but if you really want to use another piece of nature writing instead, check it out with me first and I'll probably agree to the substitution.

This essay should explore the beauty and truth of someone else's writing about nature, just as that writer and you in your journal explore the beauty and truth about something in nature. Your essay should include a few short quotes to illustrate your points or to provide a sample of what you find valuable, but be sure to integrate them smoothly into your own sentences or paragraphs.

Hopefully the kind of analysis of texts we are doing in class will give you plenty of leads to follow. Here are someother samples of ecocritical writing:

some possible topics [discuss how one or more authors present these themes]
  1. Representing water: Milton, Wordsworth, Schubert and Mueller, Cooper, Thoreau
  2. Birds and their motions: Milton, Thoreau, students in English 380
  3. Sunrise and sunset: Milton, Thoreau, Muir
  4. Mountains: Milton, Muir, Thoreau
  5. Walking: Schubert-Mueller, Wordsworth, Thoreau
  6. Naming things and places: Thoreau, Austin, Cal Poly Land
  7. Sound reflecting sense in poetry and prose: Marlowe, Wordsworth, Thoreau, students in English 380
  8. Sound reflecting sense in music: Beethoven, Vivaldi, Beatles, Schubert
  9. Beginnings, middles and ends--natural rhythms of time and space structuring literary discourses
  10. The pastoral of solitude: Marvell, Thoreau, Wordsworth, student writers
  11. Love, desire, nature and springtime: Song of Solomon, Marlowe/Ralegh, Marvell
  12. Hard vs. Soft Pastoral--Shakespeare's Duke Senior, Ralegh, Thoreau, Muir, Marx, ("The Shepherd's Philosophy")
  13. The relation among Nature and Technology and Business: Wordsworth, Thoreau, English 380 students
  14. The relation between Nature and God--Genesis, Wordsworth, Marvell, Emerson, Thoreau, 380 students
  15. The idea of purity vs. pollution, sacred vs. profane: Marvell, Wordsworth, Thoreau
  16. Introduced vs. native species: Thoreau, V.L. Holland (In Cal Poly Land: A Field Guide)

guidelines for writing papers