Poetry & Pollution: The Prospect of the Silent Spring

Barry Wood

Climate change, deforestation, the pollution of rivers, seas and the air we breathe in natural and urban environments, ecological devastation: apart from a few deluded doubters and deniers, is there any serious question that we face an existential crisis concerning the survival of the planet? We tend to think of the issues as only recently recognised, but Rachel Carson in The Sea Around Us (1950) and Silent Spring (1962) raised the questions about pollution and the destructive force of modern technologies, industrialisation and the commercial exploitation of natural resources which continue to resonate with contemporary environmental debate and activism. How with this rage shall beauty hold a plea? Can poets and poetry make anything happen: warn, make aware, activate and intervene?

The purpose of this course will be investigate what is after all a global crisis through the eyes and insights of mainly British poets from Plath and Hughes to Robert Minhinnick and Alice Oswald. The poetry will often focus on what we have lost, or are losing, but it may also remind us of the obligation to endure and protest.

Recommended reading:
Rachel Carson Silent Spring (Penguin).
Poems for detailed study will be distributed shortly before and during the course.

Day: Thursdays                         Time: 10.30am-12.30pm
8 weeks, 30 January to 19 March 2020

Cross Street Chapel,
Cross Street, Manchester, M2 1NL

Price Concessions Minimum No. Maximum No.
£85 n/a 8 18

Please send your MANCENT booking form with accompanying payment to the address below. If you prefer to pay through BACS, please contact the lecturer for further particulars.
Contact details:
Barry Wood, 12 St. Brannock’s Road,
Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester M21 0UP
email: barrywood42@hotmail.com