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Leandra LaRonde
Professor Rines
UWRT 1100
7 February 2015
A Genre Theorem: Feminist Poetry
What is feminist poetry? Before delving into this genre I must first explain the word


poets would
feminism. Feminism by definition is: the theory of the political, economic, and social equality
use what as

of the sexes. Feminist poetry is a genre that came about during the feminist movement of the


1960s. In this time many writers came forth such as Audrey Lorde, Adrienne Rich and Anne


Waldman to bring this genre to the forefront. M any feminist poets would use as historical models
for understanding an outline today. Feminist poetry is identified as having very recognizable
features such as romanticism and personal lyric (Feminist M easures, 5). Through the discourse
mode of narrative, authors use this genre to explore the female experience that is most times in
the first-person (Feminist M easures, 5). Common core features of feminist poetry draw from the
discussion of female sexuality, the cycles of the female body, female friendships and familial
relations, and the consequences of womens oppression in patriarchy (Feminist M easures, 5).
All of these features are schemas under one concept of social awareness and self-realization
(Napikoski, Feminist Poetry). This genre has a wide reaching audience. It touches women and
girls of all ages as well men. It is a common misconception that men must be left out in the topic
of feminist but in actuality I believe they are just as important of an audience as women.
From this genre, there has been a bias toward one specific kind of feminist poetry that
limits the wide umbrella that this concept covers. Some audiences believe that a feminist poem
must come from women solely to truly convey the experiences that women go through. Though


Maybe explain

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what this means

women are definitely an authority on this genre, there are many things to be discussed and

in our current

societyaddressed that can

be based from the male point of view. M ale feminist poet Charles Bernstein

shows that men can in fact write in this genre with his poetic collections such as Girly M an

where he addresses the patriarchal automaton that is current society. Another bias of feminist


poetry is the idea that feminist poetry is angry or meant to bash things that the authors do not

for though,

agree with. Though feminist poetry can come from a place of anger, it is not limited to such.

used a lot in

That is why this genre is also argumentative. In the poem Is/Not by M argaret Atwood she


argues the definition common ideas in society such as sex and love. Atwood makes this
argument in her poem saying that:
Love is not a profession/ genteel or otherwise/ sex is not dentistry/ the slick filling of
aches and cavities/ you are not my doctor/ you are not my cure/ nobody has that power/
you are merely a fellow traveler/ Give up this medical concern/ buttoned, attentive/
permit yourself anger/ and permit me mine/ which needs neither/ your approval nor your
surprise/ which does not need to be made legal/ which is not against a disease/ but against
you/ which does not need to be understood/ or washed or cauterized/ which needs
instead/ to be said and said/
the present tense.
This part
of theme
This poem shows that feministdoesnt
can sense
point without conforming to the common
follies of what is thought to be the only form of feminist poetry.
Feminist poetry is derived from a poets of the past and has influenced modern day poets
like Daphne Gottlieb who wrote the poetry novel Why Things Burn. In this collection, Gottlieb
touches on issues such as sexuality, lesbian issues, rape, and urban life. Although the topics of
today have evolved her works still hold true to the Feminist Genre. This poetry is very relevant
to the 21st century woman and the experiences females of today go through.

Do the first 2 sentences fit

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better somewhere else in
the paper?
This genre not only uses the discourse mode of narrative to accomplish its purpose. It
also uses modes such as description, information, and argument. M aya Angelou, a famous
feminist poet, wrote one of the most influential poems in the feminist genre titled Phenomenal
Woman. In this poem she celebrates femininity and highlights the traits of a phenomenal
woman. This poem uses the mode of narrative as well as description to give her account of the
female experience. Angelou enlists the mode of narrative as well as description. The audience
of this poet is trying to reach is females but more specifically necessarily aware of the power that
lies within them. In reaching the audience the poem has also exemplified what feminist poetry is.
In Daphne Gottliebs poem Kissing with the Lights On she gives a personal narrative
on intimacy with a male over a period time. This poem is a prime example of feminist poetry
discussing sexuality and the female body. The features of this poem are ultimately shaped by its
purpose to give an account of what it is like to be a woman inThis
situation. is
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account that may be found in any poem about the poor girlinformation
being fooledfor
It gives
but a sort
of empowering account that is very characteristic of feministplaced
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aybe you
usually seen as the more patriarchal role and gives the femalecould
the control
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try putting
with the other
Feminist poetry is a genre that not only gives an account
on how women
think, feel, and,
2 sentences
as one strong
experience but it also showcases the history of womens roleparagraph.
in poetry. It is embodied by its core
features from style to topic to form to through various discourse modes to get across the ultimate
goal of social awareness and self-realization. Like author Kathleen Crown once stated in her
critical essay Poetry, Feminism, and the Public Sphere:
These critical accounts of the dramatic outpouring of poetry by women since the 1960s
give us new and deeply historical models for understanding this particularly decisive

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entry of poetry into the public domain. They also offer an opportunity for estimating
poetry's past and potential contributions to the construction of a "feminist counter public
sphere" as an ideal discursive space, and for assessing how effectively feminist critics
have been able to juggle the intricate public sphere questions of aesthetics and politics,
access and context, audiences and institutions.

Overall your paper is written very well and full of information

about each of your examples. Although your thoughts are a bit
all over the place, they are still important facts that should
definitely be included somewhere in the paper. With a little
organization your paper should be looking perfect in no time!