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Poetry as investigative pedagogy: issue of ethics and praxis in Hay and Thorne's Last Days of the Mill


Hay, P, Poetry as investigative pedagogy: issue of ethics and praxis in Hay and Thorne's Last Days of the Mill, Australasian Journal of Ecocriticism and Cultural Ecology, 6 pp. 11-20. ISSN 1839-843X (2016) [Refereed Article]

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This paper examines dilemmas of ethics and practice in the author’s co-written Last Days of the Mill (2012). The usefulness of poetry as a tool of social inquiry is considered, both in the immediate context of a dying pulp mill in an industrial town in northern Tasmania, and the wider symbolic import of the mill’s demise within an island wedded to an unrealisable vision of industrial greatness. It is argued that there are forms of knowing in which poetry is far more efficacious than analytical prose, most notably elusive and grounded understandings such as ‘being there-ness’, and the accretion of a vividly storied mindscape expressed through the spoken word. The paper then considers the injunction of the Canadian poet, Robert Bringhurst: ‘when he sees his people destroying the world, the poet can say, "we’re destroying the world". He can say it in narrative or lyric or dramatic or meditative form, tragic or ironic form, short or long form... But he cannot lie, as a poet...’ (44). The paper argues for a more nuanced and inclusivist ethic, even when, technically speaking, this requires an act of dissimulation on the part of the poet.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Burnie, pulp mill, interviews, poetry, ethics
Research Division:Philosophy and Religious Studies
Research Group:Philosophy
Research Field:Social and political philosophy
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Other culture and society
Objective Field:Other culture and society not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Hay, P (Dr Peter Hay)
ID Code:122574
Year Published:2016
Deposited By:Geography and Spatial Science
Deposited On:2017-11-19
Last Modified:2018-01-15

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