William Welstead
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Colonial sheep
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In Chapter 8, the reach of poetry, agricultural practice, breeds of livestock and critical analysis across the English-speaking world is examined. While reference was made to postcolonial readings in the above discussion on poetry in Wales and Scotland, this chapter follows those who were dispossessed during the Clearances or for personal or economic reasons made the journey to the new colonies. As agricultural improvement developed in Britain, so these ideas, animals and grass varieties spread to the New World. The pioneers also set about writing their own founding myths, which in many cases were contradictory. Context is provided from readings of writers and historians including Mary Hunter Austin, Marsha Weisiger, Mary Weaks-Baxter, Sally McMurry and Virginia de John Anderson. Readings of a small number of poets including Hershman John, Donald Hall and Cilla McQueen are compared with the developing narratives and implicit values of environmental discourse in the countries where they made their home. Adding a colonial perspective greatly increases the complexity of what is already a complex field of study.

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Writing on sheep

Ecology, the animal turn and sheep in poetry


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