>>>Of course our descriptions are not their reality, our language conveys our reality. It can only symbolise what is beyond it, we cannot reach through and touch the pure inviolate unutterable noun in it. We can certainly draw word pictures of it, or of the scent of it, and lots of unrelated nouns floating about create no dynamic of representation. I'm not proposing closed box naturalism, thinking more of drawing human clouds. Punctured and punctuated by holes where the rabbits have torn through.
I agree David, that's a pragmatic solution to a big subject.
Chekhov wrote: "You will bring life to nature only if you don't shrink from similes that liken its activities to those of humankind." I've spent twenty years thinking about the implications of that sentence, and whether its wise advice can still be followed today, or whether we must seek a different path.
For as human existence has always been founded on the vigorous exploitation of nature, formerly essential to survival, but whose unchecked persistence today is like to be as lethal to ourselves as to other species, perhaps there's benefit in looking and looking again to see if we cannot evolve our human languages to become a bit less anthropocentric. Perhaps poetry can even help in this enterprise.