The “Cure of the Ground”: place in the poetry of Wallace Stevens and Robert Bringhurst

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dc.contributor.author Alm, Kirsten Hilde
dc.date.accessioned 2017-02-15T20:52:02Z
dc.date.copyright 2016 en_US
dc.date.issued 2017-02-15
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1828/7801
dc.description.abstract This study analyzes the Canadian poet, typographer, and translator Robert Bringhurst’s (b. 1946) extensive engagement with the poetry, poetics and metaphysical concerns of the American modernist poet Wallace Stevens (1879-1955). It asserts that Bringhurst’s poetry responds to Stevens’ poetry and poetics to a degree that has not previously been recognized. Although Bringhurst’s mature poetry—his works from the mid-1970s and after—departs from the obvious imitation of the elder poet’s writing that is present in his early poems, it continues to engage some of Stevens’ central concerns, namely the fertility of the liminal moment and/or space and a meditative contemplation of the physical world that frequently challenges anthropocentric narcissism. The dissertation proposes that Bringhurst shares Stevens’ desire to inscribe an authentic encounter between person and place. The first chapters establish the literary basis for the comparison of the poets’ works. The following chapters show how both poets draw on the symbology and metaphors of the Christian concept of the Sacrament in order to describe poetically the nature of the personally renewing experience of place. They examine poems from throughout Stevens’ career, including those that express a more determinedly materialistic vision, and the pervasive use of sacramental terminology in Bringhurst’s polyphonic poetry; such language is integral to Bringhurst’s efforts to describe a transformative experience of encounter with the physical world. The final chapters contend that Stevens’ and Bringhurst’s divergent visions of the ethical responsibility of poetry are shaped by their differing perspectives on the relation between the poem and the sacramental experience inscribed within it. The dissertation makes original contributions to the study of the poetry of both Bringhurst and Stevens. It demonstrates the significance of the inheritances of the Protestant religious tradition to both poets’ bodies of work, and it casts Bringhurst as a profoundly Stevensian author. A study of poetic influence, it attests to the vitality of Stevens and Bringhurst as ecologically oriented writers concerned with the meaning of place in North America. en_US
dc.language English eng
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.rights Available to the World Wide Web en_US
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.5/ca/ *
dc.subject Robert Bringhurst en_US
dc.subject Wallace Stevens en_US
dc.subject Ecopoetics en_US
dc.subject Ecospirituality en_US
dc.subject Environment en_US
dc.title The “Cure of the Ground”: place in the poetry of Wallace Stevens and Robert Bringhurst en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.contributor.supervisor Bradley, Nicholas
dc.degree.department Department of English en_US
dc.degree.level Doctor of Philosophy Ph.D. en_US
dc.description.scholarlevel Graduate en_US
dc.description.embargo 2018-01-17

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