forest floor mushrooms bursting into morning light
flower girl prostitutes swaying out of puberty
These short lines then became motivations for movement. So, in many ways, Mother Nature is essentially an ecofeminist, postpastoral movement poem. Terry Gifford, in Pastoral (1999), describes the postpastoral mode of creative writing as possessing six interconnected characteristics, which Mother Nature possesses:
1) A sense of awe with respect to nature that comes from repositioning a subjective perspective from the anthropomorphic to the ecocentric. In other words, taking the human out of the center of the world.
2) An ethos that is neither myopic nor overly selective in what aspects of nature it chooses to represent. In other words, the mushroom and the compost pile have equal worthiness of attention.
3) An understanding of the internal and external influence of nature. In other words, the environment affects our emotions, attitudes and sense of well-being.
4) Recognition that culture is not opposed to nature, but rather is nature, just as nature is culture. In other words, by viewing the body as wild, we remove the division between body and nature. We are essentially animals. By viewing culture as a mere organization of the wild, we remove division between culture and nature. It is a breakdown of the hierarchy of intellect over body, culture over nature.
5) Embraces the transition from consciousness to conscience. In other words, aware of the life that surrounds us and in response are growing more empathic towards that life and our role as caretaker.
6) The postpastoral mode is ecofeminist in that it recognizes the exploitation of nature resembles and partakes of the same mindset as the exploitation of women and minorities. In other words, we are addressing environmental and social exploitation at the same time.
Adrienne Rich writes in "What Kind of Times Are These" in Your Native Land, Your Life:
And I won't tell you where it is, so why do I tell you
anything? Because you still listen, because in times like these
to have you listen at all, it's necessary
to talk about the trees.
I agree with Rich. We can't listen to sexism without talking about the trees.
"Iris" Collage by Kandice Grossman