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Love Poetry, Women’s Bonding and Feminist Consciousness

[journal article]

Michailidou, Artemis

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Abstract This article examines Adrienne Rich’s Twenty-One Love Poems in relation to Edna St Vincent Millay’s Fatal Interview. Discussing notions such as lyric voice and innovation within traditional genres, the author analyses how Millay’s attempts to challenge commonplace definitions of female sexuality impacted on Rich’s articulation of sexual desire. The intertextual dialogue between the above works reveals that Millay and Rich produced two remarkably similar erotic narratives, which resist masculinist conceptions of literary history and comment on the self-referentiality of poetic composition. Finally, the author approaches Fatal Interview as a work that foregrounds the significance of women’s bonding, and argues that it was precisely this aspect that caught Rich’s attention and helped the younger poet develop her feminist consciousness.
Free Keywords feminist consciousness; literary influence; love poetry; Millay; Rich; women’s bonding;
Document language English
Publication Year 2006
Page/Pages p. 39-57
Journal European Journal of Women's Studies, 13 (2006) 1
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)