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Introduction To Womens Poetry English Literature Essay

The place of women's writing within the poetic custom has always been one of great doubt. Women's poetry has frequently been marginalised, and it offers even been recommended that the '"girl poet" is a contradiction in terms. ' As a result, there is certainly little question that Elizabeth Barrett Browning questioned 'where will be the poetesses? âI look all over the place for grandmothers to see none'. Not surprisingly seeming insufficient custom in women's poetry, it would appear that by the twentieth century, such 'grandmothers' are beginning to gain recognition. This is largely visible throughout the writing of the poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy, as her poetry can be said to exemplify the producing awareness of the 'poetic grandmother' in the twentieth and twenty-first ages.

In Carol Ann Duffy's early on career, an awareness of the absence of female tradition is apparent. 'Alphabet for Auden', released in 1985, responds, as the name implies, to the male poetic tradition. Aswell as this, it would appear that lines within the poem refer directly to those within the male traditions. This is noticeable as the presenter asks 'Four o'clock is time for tea, I'll be mom, who'll be me?' (ll. 9-10). These lines may actually parody those found within Rupert Brooke's 'The Old Vicarage'. It could be said that by doing this, Duffy acknowledges the male traditions and uses it to be able expressing the issue of the woman writer. The question 'I'll be mom, who'll be me?'(l. 10) is hugely significant, as it establishes a problem of female identity. It shows that women cannot be both a mom and a poet, and for that reason heightens the sense of absence of poetic grandmothers.

As the poem progresses, this sense of anxiety between the two customs is developed further. The loudspeaker expresses 'Here we go again. Goody. Art can't alter record. '(l. 13-14). The build appears satirical and even mocking, suggesting that perhaps the poetic speech disagrees with Auden's advice that 'poetry makes nothing at all happen'. Duffy responds even further to the contention as the speaker state governments 'Verse can say I told you so but cannot sway the position quo' (ll. 29-10). Once more, these lines parody, and may even be said to mock Auden's. Though it appears that at this point there's a lack of female traditions, it is obvious that Duffy knows the problem of the girl poet. In another poem from her 1985 anthology, Duffy addresses the thought of the poet directly. In 'Brain of British', the presenter prepares the school for what seems to be a mundane visit from a poet. However, within the poem will be the lines 'We don't want the winds of change about the place' (l. 20-1). Once more, these lines is seen an acknowledgement of the situation regarding poetry. As the custom is shown as static and favouring men, Duffy illustrates this problem and even appears to portray a sense of optimism. This is obvious in her poem 'Talent', as the persona asks 'You want him to fall, not? I guessed as much; he teeters but succeeds. ' (l. 5-6). Although the term 'he', is used, it is apparent that this poem illustrates successful against the chances, which could very well be a comment upon the future of the women's traditions.

As Duffy advances in her poetic job, it could be argued that an awareness of the 'poetic grandmother' is furthered. Her poem 'Mrs Lazarus', was posted over a decade after 'Alphabet for Auden', and can be said to look back to Sylvia Plath's poem 'Girl Lazarus'. Although 'Woman Lazarus', was publicized in 1962, the fact that Duffy is now able to refer to a 'poetic grandmother', is significant. Both Duffy and Plath's poems portray a biblical storyline from the point of view of a female. How each does indeed this implies the extent to that your position of the girl writer has improved. In Plath's poem, the speaker describes her grief, proclaiming 'They had to call and call And pick the worms off me like sticky pearls. ' (ll. 31-2). This image isn't only horrific, but perhaps illustrates the darkness in Plath's personal life. Duffy's poetry, however, is apparently in a position to present sentiment and ideas in a less confessional manner. In 'Mrs Lazarus', the persona explains 'I experienced grieved I had wept for a evening and each day over my damage' (ll. 1-2). Although simple, theses lines portray a sense of grief that transcends the non-public, allowing readers to identify with her words.

Another manner in which Duffy's poetry illustrates the introduction of the women's custom, is her representation of the female body. Once more, in 'Girl Lazarus', Duffy's 'poetic grandmother', uses an almost confessional persona. The presenter asks 'Do I terrify? The nasal, the eye pits [â] The sour breathing' (ll. 12-15) and describes 'my pores and skin Bright as a Nazi lampshade' (ll. 4-5). The use of such shocking imagery to describe the female body is vital. Even though the images appear to be related to Plath's personal hurting, they also signify important issues bordering women's poetry. To get female in a world of poetry dominated by men was limiting. Therefore, Plath's troubling illustrations of the feminine body can be viewed as a representation of the irritation she sensed at the constraints that was included with being a female. In light of the ideas, the representation of the female body in Duffy's 'Mrs Lazarus', illustrates a big change in the poetic landscape. The persona details how she 'ripped the material I was hitched in from my chest, howled, shrieked, clawed [â] till my hands bled. ' (ll. 2-4). The vocabulary here does seem shocking and violent. Nevertheless, once again it would appear that Duffy is portraying a wider sense of grief that will go beyond her personal experience. Regardless of the clear development in the women's traditions, it still shows up that there is a feeling that men are still in control. Toward the end of 'Mrs Lazarus' the loudspeaker explains how 'He resided. I saw the horror on his face [â] my bridegroom in his rotting shroud. ' (ll. 36-8). This may be regarded as a final suggestion that girls are never clear of the constraints of men. Even so, it is still apparent that at this stage in Duffy's poetic profession, an awareness and proposal with the 'poetic grandmother', is expanding further.

As Duffy's career enters the twenty-first century, a major development in the knowing of the 'poetic grandmother' is visible. In '09 2009 she was appointed the first ever women Poet Laureate, and detailed how 'what my session celebrates is the contribution of the fantastic women poets. ' This severe recognition and awareness of the poetic grandmother is mirrored throughout one of Duffy's lately shared poems 'Premonitions'. Dedicated to a fellow feminine poet, it could be said that poem retraces the steps of the women's tradition. In the beginning lines, the loudspeaker details 'We first satisfied when your previous breath cooled in my own palm as an egg. ' (ll. 1-2). This collection could be observed as a metaphor for the legacy of women's poetry which is left behind once the poets are gone. The image of the egg is interesting, as it symbolises a feeling of rebirth and for that reason continuation of the legacy. The loudspeaker describes their 'sudden wish- though I scarcely recognized you- to stand at the entranceway of your house' (ll. 10-12). Once more, this collection could be viewed as a metaphor, as the loudspeaker looks to a time when although 'poetic grandmothers', were longed for, these were not so obvious.

As the poem progresses, the persona describes that they 'saw you start the entrance doors to the present of your garden. ' (l. 18) This is perhaps an allusion to the new ideas women's poetry has presented. The imagery of starting entry doors, also, could illustrate an alteration in perception of women's poetry, as the 'poetic grandmothers', become more prominent. Duffy's poem presents a primary allusion to Plath's 'Female Lazarus', which is obvious as the loudspeaker describes 'ash head of hair flare and redden' (l. 34). In 'Sweetheart Lazarus', women were portrayed as being constrained by their gender. However, you'll be able to see 'Premonitions', as sort of remedy because of this restriction. It allows the thought of being both a female and a poet to be celebrated as women are no more restricted to one single role. The ultimate lines of 'Premonitions', seems to present a feeling of optimism for the future of the feminine tradition. The loudspeaker represents 'Then time only the moon. As well as the balm of dusk. And you simply my mom. '(ll. 37-8). The reference to the moon advises once again a rebirth of ideas, and continuation of the tradition. The final term 'mother', resonates and can be said to portray your final sense of gratitude and special event.

It can be said that in the twentieth and twenty-first generations, a knowledge of the thought of 'poetic grandmothers', is rolling out considerably. Adrienne Rich once explained the twentieth century as 'a time of awakening awareness', for women's poetry, and such a contention can be followed throughout the writing of Carol Ann Duffy. When 'Alphabet for Auden', was written, at the beginning of Duffy's job, the existence of such 'grandmothers', was difficult to find. However, it is apparent that a great change has took place. The session of Duffy as the first female Poet Laureate implies the level to which women's poetry is rolling out. In every, it is clear that in the present day, not only are women poets aware of their poetic grandmothers, they could react to them and continue the legacy of feminine poetry.

Word count- 1, 582

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