The areas of dispute for these distinguished
critics of romantic poetry usually involve boundaries – first, of course, between the
self and nature, but also by extension between soul and body, consciousness and
unconsciousness, subject and object, culture and nature, language and muteness,
immortality and death, imaginative poet and immature child, transcendence and immanence.
Hence, when we examine the archetypic situation of modern nature poetry … we also
recognize the interplay of these mythologically opposed pairs. Furthermore, all of these
dichotomies have also been philosophically and mythically related to that most pervasive
pair, masculine and feminine. The usual sexual dynamic in romantic nature poetry assumes,
therefore, a speaking male subject who explores his relation to a mute and female nature.
Finding an authentic place in this traditional pattern presents challenges for women poets