Brenda Hillman EcoPoetics Minifesto: A Draft for Angie

Brenda Hillman City

Brenda Hillman City

A–At times a poem might enact qualities brought from Romantic poetry, through Baudelaire, to modernism and beyond–freedom of form, expressivity, & content–taking these to a radical intensity, with uncertainty, complexity, contradiction;

B–such a poem employs knowledge from diverse disciplines–including scientific vocabularies, but it does not privilege only the human. Research includes rural & urban wilds as well as knowledge from all cultures; creative forms bring together earth & spirit, rejecting no sources, including the personal;

C–its energies shuttle across binaries; realism/non-realism, rationality/irrationality, refuting received authority;

D–such a poem like an animal could graze or hunt in its time, exploring each word, carrying symbolic rhythms, syntax & images directly between the dream & the myth; the imagination does not reject the spirit world;

E–then a poem is its own action, performing practical miracles:

1. “the miracle of language roots” –to return with lexical adventures;
2. “the miracle of perception” –to honor the senses;
3. “the miracle of nameless feeling” –to reflect the weight of the subjective, the contours of emotion;
4. “the miracle of the social world” –to enter into collective bargaining with the political & the social.

F–& though powerless to halt the destruction of bioregions, the poem can be brought away from the computer. The poet can accompany acts of resistance so the planet won’t die of the human.