‘Negotiating Bioregionalism: ‘Place’ as ‘Space’ in the Poetry of Wordsworth’
Bioregionalism is an important offshoot of the ecocritical discourse which is grounded upon a philosophy of life that seeks to reconnect human beings to the living biosphere through ‘ places’ and ‘regions’ where they live. Jim Dodge in his essay, ‘Living by Life : Some Bioregional Theory and Practice(1990) defines bioregionalism as a ‘life- place’- a unique region defined by natural rather than political boundaries, with a geographic, climatic, hydrological and ecological character supporting unique human communities. In its shift from the centre to the periphery, in the shift from emphasis on living in towns and cities to living in ecoregions and watersheds, being rooted to a ‘specific place’, bioregionalism is best understood from the ‘inside’ than the ‘outside’. Bioregionalism may be defined as a politics of ‘reinhabitation’ that encourages people to explore more deeply the natural and cultural landscape in which they already live.( Garrard 128) Bioregionalism brings in its wake environmental awareness and love of nature on one hand and respect for local landscape and culture on the other. In the light of the aforesaid problematization, the present paper is an attempt to conceptualize Wordsworth’s poems as ‘poetry of place’ thereby vindicating the poet’s bioregional sensibility in his ecocritical oeuvre. While doing so, the argument of the paper is based on Wordsworth’s narrativization of specific landscape and place , particularly of the Lake District area and Grasmere valley and the Tintern Abbey landscape as reflected in his poetry. ). The following poems will be considered while negotiating Wordsworth’s bioregional sensibility- ‘Poems on the Naming of Places’ ‘ A Few Lines Written Above Tintern Abbey’, “Lucy Poems’, The Old Cumberland Beggar ‘, ‘Home at Grasmere’ and ‘Michael A Pastoral Poem’.