Dear Readers,

I now consider this blog to be my Juvenelia. Have fun perusing the archives, and find me at my new haunt, here.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Plath Shook them Up

Honor Moore has a nice piece up at XX about the way Sylvia Plath's death, and her posthumous collection Ariel shook up the world of women writing verse, and how it was sort of like the "feminine mystique" for the poetry world in that it revealed the dangers of femininity. Writes Moore:

Less acknowledged than the women's movement Friedan's book ignited was the extraordinary explosion of poetry by American women that followed Ariel’s publication. It is a bounty that continues into the present, when more women are writing poetry of literary distinction than at any other time in history. Poems have been integral to the women’s movement from the beginning—no surprise given that feminism has always understood language to be instrumental in maintaining oppressive power relations.
She continues by talking about some of these poets who followed in PLath's footsteps and--even better--quoting from their verse!

I'd also add that exploring Plath's life, her memoir The Bell Jar, and her Ariel poems (as well as some of her New Colossus poems and other work) have become a sort of feminist coming-of-age ritual akin to reading Jane Eyre for young women from a somewhat western-oriented, liberal background.

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