For Poetry is a Way of Happening: An Ecocritical Approach Towards Juliana Spahr's "If You Were a Bluebird" and "Dynamic Positioning"
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This thesis considers in what way ecocritical poetry can function as an act of activism, and to what extent it is able to generate change in the reader. Through a close reading of two poems from Juliana Spahr’s That Winter the Wolf Came, I analyzed the ways in which these poems expose human culpability in environmental crises, and how they might engage the reader to reassess their role in the whole. Both “If You Were a Bluebird” and “Dynamic Positioning” reveal underlying systems and interrelatedness, ultimately exposing our, including the reader’s, share in the deterioration and depletion of this planet. By using the BP oil crisis as the core vehicle for the poems’ metaphors, Spahr creates an immediate realism. Via the use of matters of fact to ignite matters of concern, and via the principle of relations, Spahr’s poetry confronts with the fact of our complicity in environmental crises. In response to the explication of the reader’s complicity, they become responsive and embark on a critical reassessment of their share, finally assuming responsibility.