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Reading Women's Poetry (Hardcover)

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Until quite recently, anthologies of English poetry contained very few poems by women, and histories of English poetry gave little space to women poets. How should poetry lovers respond? This book begins by suggesting four possible responses: the conservative, which claims that women have not written many good poems; individual recuperation, which salvages some fine poems by women but without altering the general view of English poetry; alternative canon, which claims that women do not write the same kind of poetry as men, so that their work should be judged by different standards; and cultural recuperation, which claims that women?s poetry is a cultural phenomenon, and should be read and studied without subjecting it to any aesthetic tests. All these positions can be defended. This book is about reading women?s poems, rather than forming theories about them: it explores the experience of reading Aphra Behn, Elizabeth Browning, Christina Rossetti, Emily Dickinson and many others. Beginning with Katherine Philips, the first Englishwoman to achieve fame as a poet, it covers three centuries to the work of Sylvia Plath and Stevie Smith. It is hoped that the form of discussion of the selected poems will be helpful in engaging further with women poets of all calibres. Do women write differently from men? The author assumes no predetermined answer but is willing to ask the question and in order to do so he compares poems by women with poems by men, exploring similarities and differences: thus Lady Mary Wortley Montagu is discussed with Alexander Pope, Emily Dickinson with Gerard Manley Hopkins and Elizabeth Browning with her husband. Poems by women can be related to the time they were written and first admired, or to our views on women?s history, or to our expectations of what poetry can offer but above all they should be enjoyed. And that is the faith in which this book is written.


Publisher Sussex Academic Pr
Mfg Part# 9781845193379
SKU 211590992
Format Hardcover
ISBN10 1845193377
Release Date 1/28/2013
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