Academic journal article Electronic Green Journal

The Poetic Species: A Conversation with Edward O. Wilson and Robert Hass

Academic journal article Electronic Green Journal

The Poetic Species: A Conversation with Edward O. Wilson and Robert Hass

Article excerpt

Wilson, Edward O. and Hass, Robert. The Poetic Species: A Conversation with Edward O. Wilson and Robert Hass. Forward by Lee Briccetti. New York: Bellevue Literary Press. 2014. 112 pp. ISBN 9781934137727, e-book. US $16.95. Also available, ISBN: 9781934137727, hardback. US $16.95.

There is an interesting conversation contained herein, the kind one might go to a public event to see in person a luminary or two they admire on stage. As such, Edward O. Wilson and Robert Hass are giants in their field, and guiding lights to many people, especially educated ones. At stake here is a discussion about what to do with the Natural world. Ideas about human Nature are also explored here. It is interesting to be party to this meeting of the minds, especially in this troubled time for Environmentalism where people seem to recklessly be changing the definition of Nature and the wild, and the movement being blamed for its eating habitats and the cause of global warming. It has become a dialogue filled with compromises.

The discussion is not a confrontational one, but in a few places, the assembled do express their frustrations with each other's field. They are also interested in knowing more from each other. This book, however, favors the poets who have a wider knowledge and more skills at being persuasive. Wilson was a break out writer who commented on many subjects and argued that our human nature has some predetermination from our genes. Hass puts the struggle of Wilson, i.e. the need to protect wild places, wild creatures and more, in a bigger modern cultural context.

The book is challenging and not as long as the reader is likely to desire. Lee Briccetti, Executive Director of Poets House, sets the tone and introduces Wilson and Hass as people very concerned with biodiversity and natural systems. It is important to realize, as gained from this book, that Wilson is having difficulties convincing everyone of the need to defend Nature. …

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