Date of Award
Honors Thesis (Open Access)
Colby College. English Dept.
Chris A. Walker
Places the naturalist Alexander Von Humboldt's proto-ecological ideas in conversation with Walt Whitman's poetry to show how the poet developed an ecopoetics in conversation with the natural sciences of his time, with specific attention to Von Humboldt's theory of the "kosmos" - by which Whitman's poetic persona self-identified. These recognitions are combined with how Whitman's idealized version of the American poet as a “kosmos” creates a political ecology in Whitman’s work, placing his ecopoetics into environmental discourses that resonate from their origin in the nineteenth century to our present ecological moment today.
Von Humboldt, Whitman, Cosmos, Ecopoetics, Leaves of Grass
Recommended CitationTheyerl, Benjamin, ""They Shall be a Kosmos:" Alexander Von Humboldt and the Ecopoetics of Walt Whitman" (2020). Honors Theses. Paper 1009.