In the First Country of Places: Nature, Poetry, and Childhood Memory

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SUNY Press, 1994 - Poetry - 234 pages
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In the First Country of Places explores how people's personal philosophies of nature shape their childhood memories and self-identities. Drawing upon written work and original interviews, the book describes uses of memory through the perspectives of five American Poets who represent different contemporary beliefs: William Bronk, David Ignatow, Audre Lorde, Marie Ponsot, and Henry Weinfield. These authors present their relationships with nature and childhood in the context of major Western traditions of philosophy and religion. Each poet confronts the modern scientific image of an alien nature within which histories of individuals are insignificant; and three poets elaborate alternative versions of connection with nature and their own past. This work opens new directions in the psychology of memory, developmental and environmental psychology, environmental studies, and the study of American poetry.
 

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Contents

Placing the Past
1
Childhood and Nature
21
Confrontations William Bronk and Henry Weinfield
51
Reconciliation David Ignatow
85
Connections Audre Lorde and Marie Ponsot
105
Childhood and Nature Reconsidered
145
A Recollective Psychology
169
Epilogue
195
Notes
201
Index
229
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About the author (1994)

Louise Chawla is Associate Professor at Whitney Young College, an interdisciplinary honors college at Kentucky State University. She has written numerous book chapters and articles on environmental autobiography and children's environmental experience.

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