Medea's Chorus: Myth and Women's Poetry Since 1950 by Veronica House

By Veronica House

Women’s mythic revision is a practice on the center of twentieth-century literature. Medea’s Chorus explores post-WWII women’s poetry that takes Greek mythology as its important topos. The publication investigates 5 of the main influential poets writing within the 20th century (H.D., Sylvia Plath, Adrienne wealthy, Margaret Atwood, Eavan Boland) who problem either the traditional literary representations of ladies and the excessive modernist appropriations of the classics. of their poetry and prose, the ladies interact with cultural discourses approximately literary authority, gender, oppression, violence, and age. but even whereas the poets remodel sure points of the Greek myths that they locate troubling, they see the inherent strength within the tales and use that energy for private and social revelation. simply because myths exist in a number of models, old writers didn't create from scratch; their inventive contribution lay in how they replaced the tales. glossy lady poets are conducting a a number of millennia-old culture of mythic revision, a practice that has ruthlessly posited that there's no position for girls within the construction and transmission of mythological poetry. Medea’s Chorus tracks mythic revision from the Nineteen Fifties throughout the second-wave feminist circulation and into turn-of-the-century feminism to focus on person achievements and to teach the collective influence of the poets’ hugely different works on post-WWII literature and feminist inspiration and perform. This enticing and fantastically written booklet is a must-read for any scholar, instructor, or pupil of the Classical culture, revisionist mythmaking, and twentieth-century poetry

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Named Heydt as her Paris, Freud as her Theseus, and told Pearson in September of 1952, “It is fascinating . . that there are these stories that so perfectly fit my legend” (Hollenberg, Between History 129, emphasis added). D. exclaimed in another letter dated a year later, “a sort of poetic analysis, complete with couch and father-symbol” (Hollenberg, Between History 150). She felt a cathartic identification with Helen’s investigation into her past to make sense of the present. Like the poem’s first section, “Pallinode,” the second section on Leuke plays on external versus internal definitions of identity.

D. presents different versions of Helen and deliberately refuses to pin down Helen’s identity. ’s careful reading of Homer and classical revisions of Homer’s Helen. D. D. ” (Helen in Egypt 47). ’s Helen wants to know if there is such a thing as a real or essential identity. Questions concerning Helen’s nature do not only appear in classical literature. ’s lifetime, scholars debated Helen’s historicity. Was there a Trojan War, and was Helen at Troy during the ten-year period? D. 4 Schliemann had photographs taken of his wife, Sophia, whom he called his own Helen of Troy, donning the jewels that he wrongly dated to the Trojan War period.

D. began her poem in 1952, partially in response to her fresh look at her failed relationship with Pound. She called her writing “an attempt, not unsuccessful, to retain a relationship, materially ‘ditched’” (End to Torment 58). She felt Pound’s rejection not only personally, but especially in terms of her poetic legitimacy. D. Imagiste,” and categorization of her had stuck, although she had long since moved away from Imagism. D. wrote a poem that investigates the difficulty of reconciling conflicting identities.

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