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'In the age of the Anthropocene, we can no longer trust the human voice to say the truth of things. In a twisted, perverted way, the Anthropocene condemns human ‘saying’ as false and misleading while affirming the human as the only one who can say anything at all. This paradox of the human voice – a voice that is unable to tell the truth in its very capacity to tell the truth – is what besets us today. Is there a voice that can speak out of this paradox without its paradoxical claim on what is said? In this article I will work with the possibility of a poetics that speaks with nature in a poietic voice: not the human voice that speaks paradoxically, but the voice unheard in this very speaking. To attempt such a task I will invoke the work of the philosopher Jean-François Lyotard, who proposes a poetics of the figural from the perspective of the eye over the voice. My claim is that to arrive at a non-Anthropocentric way of poetic saying we must go by way of the eye over the voice. We do not hear what is seen; rather, in what is seen we hear. This article will focus on the saying of nature in two poems: Wallace Stevens’s ‘The Rock’, and John Ryan’s ‘I Turned the Corner and Entered the Mind of the Beech Forest’. While Stevens’s poem speaks with the Anthropos, unable to hear the other who cannot speak back, Ryan’s poem speaks after the Anthropos with nobody’s voice heard in the poem’s visual presentation. There is no other to speak back, only the fall into oblivion: a fall into nature where the voice is heard.' (Publication abstract)
'Anmatyerre elder and artist Emily Kame Kngwarreye (1910–1996) of the Utopia community, Northern Territory, Australia, featured the growth patterns of the pencil yam (Vigna lanceolata) prominently in works such as Untitled (Yam) (1981), Anooralya – Wild Yam (1989) and Yam Dreaming (1996) as well as a number of black-and-white renderings. Through the yam-art of Kngwarreye, this article considers human-vegetal entanglements in Aboriginal Australian societies. Integral to appreciating Kngwarreye’s paintings, the plant-poiesis-people conjunction calls prominence to ancestral—or Dreaming—knowledge of yams not only as providores of material sustenance but also as agential beings-in-themselves who culture humankind across space and time.' (Introduction)