This excellent book by Jonathan Bate - Shakespeare specialist and author of the recent and also excellent Ted Hughes an Unauthorised Life - is a thorough and thought provoking exploration and examination of the relationship of poets and poetry to nature, ecology and the acute environmental issues confronting humans. He examines closely what it is to be human in relation to nature and the ambiguity of being part of nature and yet also apart from it in an exploitative, abusive and alienated relationship to the planet. He argues that some poets may have a unique relationship with nature, of being in and at one with the natural world, and through this can articulate and exemplify how ecological and environmental movements may, through a more authentic relationship with the planet, lead the way in respecting the earth and promoting its sustainability.
This book really explained to me the whole view of the green critic. Did an essay using this and Samuel Beckett's End Game worked really well. Bate is clear without being too stuffy and wordly if you are only buying one green literary book buy this one.
The Song of the Earth by Jonathan Bate is an informed choice for anyone currently undertaking studies in literary criticism. Especially those interested in the developing theories of ecocriticism or green studies.