Confessional Poetry

October 19, 2010
UMW Blogs Wiki

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2 Responses

  1. I love that you gave so many examples of the writing being discussed and the videos are great. It is also nice to see the women getting so much coverage in this movement, thanks Sylvia and Anne.

  2. Just re-read Sylvia Plath’s bio. I was familiar with the “basics” of her life story in high school, but i never really studied her poetry until this semester. And I have to say, my appreciation for Plath has shot through the roof. Her poems can be complex, but I’ve found just about every single poem of hers that I’ve read rewarding and enjoyable when i put in the time to “unpack” them. There’s an immediacy of emotion, and a sometimes dark, often aggressive and beautiful honesty to her writing that I love. Basically she’s a bad-ass, and perhaps the one good thing that came from her suicide is that (hopefully) lots of people have read her work and have recognized it for it’s poetic brilliance, as opposed to just reading it solely as a window into her mental instability.

    This is a similar kind of criticism that Ginsberg receives from time to time. And I’m paraphrasing from Brady Earnhart here: “It’s like, “oh, well he was only able to write that crazy sort of poetry because he was doing so many drugs. But millions of people have tried those same drugs and tried to write poetry in a similar fashion, and none have written stuff that’s anywhere near as good as Ginsberg’s.”

    I remember that Scanlon touched on this in class, but it’s completely unfair for people to “attribute” aspects of Plath’s poetry to her depression. “Oh well she just wrote about that dark-themed stuff because she was depressed.” Her depression can be read into her poetry from time to time, sure, but the fact remains that she was a bad-ass writer regardless of her depression and unstable mental condition–and she should be remembered as a great poet first and foremost.

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