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How do Bishop’s pauses, intonation, stresses, etc. help us understand the poem “In the Waiting Room”?

Don’t forget that the title is also part of the te t. Pauses, intonation, stresses (and the form of the verse) Bishop's reading of her poem sounds like a story, a personal anecdote that seems to be a personal story that has a special significance to her as part of her personal experience. The poem sounds as if she were confiding on the reader. The reader becomes a confidant of this personal experience. In fact the poem is a narrative poem that is written in free verse, with no rhyme or fixed meter or rhythm (the text is a series of four , three and even two beat verses of varying length!, so the poem is not constrained by strict formal rules that would make it very "poem sounding", i.e. more artificially poetic. #uite on the contrary, the poem sounds like a story any person would tell a friend in the course of an intimate conversation. There is a perfect correspondence between form and content. I$%&'T()T )&T*+ ,. (. -uddon explains that free verse "./0 has no regular meter or line length and depends on natural speech rhythms. In the hands of a gifted poet it can ac1uire rhythms and melodies of its own. ./0" ,. (. -uddon, The Penguin Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory. 2th edition, revised by -. *. %reston (3ondon+ %enguin, 4555! p. 664. Write a short summar! in prose of what !ou thin" the poem is #a$out’. Through the first person voice, the poetic "I", the poem describes the speaker7s moment of recognition of her identity and place in the world as a woman. The moment occurs while she is in the waiting room of a dentist. 8*li9abeth7s: self recognition as a woman unfolds as the poem progresses, and is prompted (;ocasionado! by certain sensory experiences+ looking at photographs (in a National Geographic number! of erupting volcanoes, of explorers &sa and $artin ,ohnson, of bare breasted (frican women and their children, and hearing a cry of pain. This identification with other women, especially her aunt,is strong, but it is not a comfortable awareness of her female reality. The speaker description of what her feelings on this moment of identification suggest vertigo, confusion, disorientation even other bodily reactions. <hile something important has clearly happened to shape the young speaker7s self awareness, that awareness is neither clear nor stable and the poem expresses her confusion as much as it does her new found sense of self. I$%&'T()T )&T*+ these moments of special significance, awareness or "revelation" in the experience of the poetic persona in a poem or a character in a novel are usually known as "epiphanies", the term that ,ames ,oyce, the Irish author, used in A Portrait of the Artist as a oung !an (454=!. -uddon 1uotes the crucial passage in which ,oyce uses this term. >ere's a partial 1uotation of that citation+ The triviality made him think of collecting many such moments together in a book of epiphanies. By an epiphany he meant a sudden spiritual manifestation .-uddon's italics0, whether in the vulgarity of speech or of gesture or in a memorable phase of the mind itself. >e believed that it was for the man of letters to record these epiphanies with extreme care, seeing that they themselves are the most delicate and evanescent of moments. ./0 ,. (. -uddon, The Penguin Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory. 2th edition, revised by -. *. %reston (3ondon+ %enguin, 4555! p. ?@@. The experience of the poetic I in Bishop's poem can be defined as an "epiphany" that she has in the waiting room, so this is a convenient term to be used from now on. (nother possible term is "moments of being", used by Airginia <oolf to express these moments when reality seems to be more intense and a kind of revelation takes place in the heightened consciousness of an individual. "t is interesting ho# many of the poem$s references to the %real$ #orld turn out to &e unrelia&le. The %real$ NG copy '(li)a&eth* is supposedly reading does not contain the photographs she mentions+ also, ,sa and !artin -ohnson #ere active in the ./01s and therefore #ould not have &een featured in a NG issue from ./.2. Lee (delman$s article in the selection of essays on '"n the 3aiting 4oom*

and her sense of her own self as an individual. and other What do !ou ma"e of the image in the lines “the inside of a %olcano & $lac". especially other women. blue black space: (l. 4yan$s interpretation is suggestive though the se6uence he notes @ reading NG. erupting volcanoes are almost a clichD for sexual passion and it may well be that 8*li9abeth: feels a stirring sexuality (after 8carefully studying the photographs: in NG!.illinois.&ishop. 7ee also the #or5sheet for 8N"T 9 on the virtual course. and pith helmets” (ll. this is the woman and this is the man+ &oth are wearing the masculine attire used in safari explorations typical of the age and (for an (merican *nglish speaker! their names might not ..6. What do !ou ma"e of the ne t image2 “3sa and 4artin 5ohnson&dressed in riding $reeches.!. . may also account for the inaccuracy of the references to the National Geographic num&er and the references to . it accompanies the speaker7s final vision of herself in the waiting room. even false.)+. the image is rather more complicated. erupting volcano. and #e also tend to pro?ect some of our adult ideas onto our recollections of our younger selves in order to construct a &etter. (s a snapshot (. and. and full of ashes' & then it was spilling o%er & in ri%ulets of fire” (ll. naked women:.a<f. #e are a&le to reinterpret and understand in a &etter #ay e=periences that #e had #hen #e #ere children+ this is #hat the poem actually reflects as the narrator is the older spea5er telling an e=perience she had #hen she #as a little girl (the spea5er. more interesting version of ourselves. the waiting room. as mere flux H Cust like the lava from an erupting volcano in this confusing feeling of identification with other women.ohnson is part of the early se1uence of the speaker7s identificatory Courney. as part of the speaker7s sensation of falling off the world 8into cold. oh yes. echoing the initial volcano image. interweaving and mutating as it does throughout the poem points to the young speaker7s confusing sensations and the sudden awareness of Gwho7 and 'what' she is H or may get to be H in relation to the world. erupting volcano @ is not actually the one in the poem. which was 8bright E and too hot. &a&ies @ and only then @ '&lac5.poets. (ither the fictitious character of the e=perience or a faulty memory.(see lin5 &elo#) discusses the poem$s 6uestiona&le 'literality*. especially her aunt.? R!an considers whether the description the spea"er gi%es us (names.maps. 7election of articles on '"n the 3aiting 4oom*: http:. image of na5ed person. and sometimes #e ?um&le different memories together. photographs. it is interesting to note that as #e gro# older. if the e=perience #as real and auto&iographical. then the initial volcano image. the -ohnsons. allows us to distinguish them as male and female. Do !ou thin" we can? Wh!&wh! not? Wh! might this $e significant? The image of the explorers &sa and $artin . it7s a very dramatic and also a very precise image+ it is easy to visuali9e and evokes Cust what one imagines an erupting volcano looks like. it does not initially enable the reader to say. <hat are we to make of thisF If we accept that the poem is partly Gabout7 identity. cleverer. . #hich is as follo#s: reading NG. but the volcano image is connected to the rest of the poem in other ways too. 1-+1. It was sliding E beneath a big black wave: ( ll. #hat is important is the te=t and understanding ho# it #or5s and the commentary possi&ilities it offers. 'yan strongly suggests there is a sexual component. l. clothes. photographs. & laced $oots.? Birst of all. <ithin the context of the poem. "t$s almost as if the poem$s se6uence gradually &uilds up to and culminates in the revelatory image of the &areA&reasted African #omen #hich so terrifies the young '"* of the poem. )*+. dead man. The colour black re appears in three more associative contexts+ the breasts of (frican women (8black.-. #e cannot really say it is (li)a&eth >ishop herself+ remem&er that a poetic spea5er or poetic " can &e as fictional as character in a novel). >ut it is also true that memory is unrelia&le.foto instant7nea!. Identity for 8*li9abeth: is presented as terrifyingly unstable.#aiting./!. na5ed #omen*.###.english.htm "n this sense. 01!.sa and !artin -ohnson. -ertainly. At any rate.

>he spea"er gi%es us images related to maternit! and children near the $eginning and towards the end of the poem (ll. which is. /). hands.. . ?=!. . which are practices related to different standards of beauty belonging to other cultures that may be shocking form a <estern point of view. the family voice I felt in my throat. “hostilit! to compulsor! heterose ualit!”? This image of "( dead man slung on a pole H'3ong pig./0E and those awful hanging breastsH E held us together E or made us all Cust oneF"!.? <an we e plain this image in terms of a girl’s awa"ening se ualit! and (according to R!an.' the caption said". some tribes in the $ar1uesas Islands. Thus. but with later nuances ac1uired by the word 'pig' as an insult (that is what 'derogatory' means! as used by feminists since the 45@Ls in the expression "male chauvinist pig" (. that refers to a man who is sexist and insensitive towards women. The image of the man and the also disturbing detail of the women7s necks. @N O6! as the girl both identifies with the black mothers ("<hat similaritiesH E. 64! evoking the effect of breast feeding the babies mentioned earlier (l. the indefectible result of "compulsory heterosexuality" (especially in the days before contraceptives!. it emphasi9es the impression. 'yan interprets that the speaker of the poem insults the dead man. but also a 1uestioning of traditional women7s roles . Mo this image can hardly be related to "hostility to compulsory heterosexuality". .0./0F"!. naked women with necksEwound round and round with wire: ( ll. Bishop not only makes the speaker imply a rather precocious hostility towards compulsory heterosexuality and a 8male right of access: (if we use 'ich's terms!. l.It precedes the image of the 8babies with pointed heads: (l.’ the caption said” (ll. the strangeness that other human groups and their customs cause on the seven year old. =? 6! and+ or me. 'yan7s interpretation+ "'3ong pig' is a very derogatory term".1!.make it easy to differentiate the man from the woman.+. may well arouse strong feelings in the young speaker+ disgust.=+6).=! and the 8black. ? images which do not present motherhood and child+rearing in a positi%e or traditional light. Instead. obviously. her identification with them as humans.cerdo machista!./+. but also her feeling her own difference from them. but there is no apparent reason for doing so and there is no indication in the poem that she feels any hostility toward the dead man. and terror related to the latter (the bound necks suggest restriction of movement. -uriously enough. 8nd what do !ou ma"e of the following image2 “8 dead man slung on a pole&+ #9ong :ig. indicates that he does not relate the term to its real meaning. fear and terror for the former (note that the man is dead and it seems that according to the maga9ine he is going to be eatenK! and more fear. even denying women's rights to e1uality and defending the traditional patriarchal order. How would !ou interpret this? The images of mothers. later expressed in "you are one of them. %apua )ew Juinea and other locations in %olynesia used to call dead human bodies that were destined to be eaten in cannibal rituals. or anyoneF <hat similaritiesH Boots. torture/!. (lready the reader is being introduced to uncertainty about identity and genderI a woman is masculini9ed in her attire. refers to the name. suggests 8hostility to compulsory heterosexuality:. 3ines =? and =6 suggest that she reCects motherhood. pain. 3hy should you be one. the euphemism. certainly unpleasant and disturbing. the women with the stretched necks wound by wire and the "horrifying breasts" (l. . and at the same time she also reCects such identification and expresses her desire to be different from them ("<hy should I be . revulsion. tooF" (ll. . revulsion. constricted by wire. or even the National Geographic and those awful hanging breastsH held us together or made us all Cust oneF (ll.

This is followed by the speaker's reflection about her (unt+ "I wasn't at all surprisedI E even then I knew she was E a foolish. E but wasn't . what follows changes the whole interpretation (pay extra careful attention to the underlined words!+ ". This is what prompts the speaker's identification with her aunt in the following six lines and then the really uncomfortable. and another" (ll./0". <hen this line is re read. (ctually. especially those that belong to our same sexI it is part of being genetically related!. even panic and she passes out and loses consciousness briefly for a while as the text indicates later in lines 5L 56 (the four lines before the final group of five verses that close the poem!. and then she regains consciousness+ "Then I was back in it" (l. to that of her aunt -onsuelo (this is not far fetched at all for we all have similar voices to our parents. as the speaker's first." The speaker now says that it was herself who uttered the exclamation of pain. and it is clearly devised to work like that. It is the speaker who exclaims in pain at seeing the )ational Jeographic pictures. the dentist7s waiting room. Mo the exclamation came from inside her. This overpowering experience together with the lights and the heat in the waiting room get to her and she blacks out for a matter of seconds ("It was sliding E beneath a big black wave. from general. not "inside the dentist's room". this makes us hesitate and wonder if we have read the text correctly or wrongly. and close relatives. an epiphany. turning world:/ But at this very moment. The speaker is outside the dentist's room within which we are led to think that (unt -onsuelo emits her cry of pain. this intense wave like sensation felt by the speaker. E I might have been embarrassed. from inside". >owever. sexual intercourse is also a form of 'being one' or 'being intimately united' with somebody else!. The text actually says+ "Muddenly. people in other parts of the world. (unt -onsuelo. that has a shocking effect on her+ this powerful identification with her aunt and with other women. These are not cute pictures of mothers cradling smiling babies in their arms but something else entirely.&came an oh! of pain&A8unt <onsuelo’s %oiceA&not %er! loud or long” (ll. but a close reading of the lines reveals what happens and the calculated effect that the text produces in the reader. and. brothers. a the traditional role of women!. if not identical. sisters. Mhe is surprised to recogni9e her aunt's voice but reali9ing simultaneously that it is actually her own voice sounding very much like her aunt's. 54 56!. the distinction outside E inside. anxious identification with other women. How might we interpret the lines2 “@uddenl!. E came an ohB of pain E H(unt -onsuelo7s voiceH E not very loud or long. E another. her aunt E herself collapses and the speaker becomes one with her aunt in a very intense experience. Then the text clearly says it was "H(unt -onsuelo's voiceH". and line 52./0 <hat took me E completely by surprise E was that it was me+ E my voice. grown up people. There is an outside E inside movement characteristic of the entire poem that gives expression to the young speaker7s attempts to understand her growing sense of who she is in relation to her surroundings and the outer world in general H <orcester. and if 'yan's rather far fetched sexual interpretation of the "ohK" and some parts of the poem on pages 42O 5 is accepted. 52!. These feelings are so intense that she actually feels anxiety. The text is devised to provoke the same kind of confusion and surprise in the reader's as the one the speaker felt at that moment when she heard herself exclaim "ohK" in a voice that was very similar. &n the other hand. precocious experience of powerful lesbian desire that results in an intense orgasm (in this sense. when she powerfully identifies with her aunt could also be interpreted. but also the powerful reCection of this identification and the imperious need of being different from them (even the reCection of being a mother. from inside.But notice that the first verse only reads "inside". the 8round. This seems to confirm our suppositions that the " ohB" was her aunt's cry of pain.? This is a very important section of the poem and the most complex. certainly. in my mouth. 6=+61. the textual strategy becomes clear+ there is no indication that the "ohK" sounds inside the dentist's room." These three lines make us think that it is (unt -onsuelo who voices her pain inside the dentist's room sitting on the chair while the dentist works on her teeth. the heat and her brief passing out. timid woman. the natural reaction is to go back to "Muddenly. .

then.-centur! writers2 Hirginia Woolf. Is there an! conflict. (ctually. timid woman". Aita Mackville <est. Doroth! Richardson. What les$ian & ga! critics do2 • th -reate an alternative canon of lesbianEgay writers7 works. %erhaps the speaker fears she too will end up like (unt -onsuelo. "a figure for a feared painful heterosexual experience the girl does not want to have" so that ". “Fender @tudies” ()6)+)6=. Rosamund 9ehman.. ). without any Custification in the text. The next line H 8I H we H were falling. timid woman” (ll. and then. ). Bow re+read2 “What les$ian&ga! critics do” (Barr!.c0ompulsory heterosexual sex is pain for a lesbian". >e refers to a different text.. with the line.1! brings us back to the 1uestion of identity H it is perhaps not so easy after all to differentiate oneself from other women. D ample2 >he! create an alternati%e canon of les$ian&ga! writers’ wor"s. como tal!. other potential role models. I$%&'T()T+ this verse is also important as it also clearly indicates that the speaker is older and she is remembering what she felt as a little girl of nearly seven years of age+ "even then I knew she was E a foolish.1. timid"!. it is implied if following 'yan's reading of some parts of the poem. “9es$ian&ga! criticism” ()6. or of &eing caught • • . IB>R3DC<>I3B >3 <RI>I<89 8BD 9I>DR8RE >HD3RE @elf+assessment e ercises Read Barr!.. 1uite gratuitously to Custify his interpretation of the "ohB" as a suggestion of "the vaginal opening". falling: H suggests a pan identificatory process. @ummariGe his arguments.. timid woman: certainly implies a differentiation with the speaker (8I am notEa foolish. he identifies the dentist with a threatening male. su$stituting each point with a single sentence. >he! will pro$a$l! $e mostl! . <hapter *. 'osamund 3ehman. Melect gayElesbian passages in standard literary works and analyse them as such (.+). timid woman:! and a criticism of the aunt for accepting her traditional female role (being "foolish. Mhakespeare's Cing Lear. 'adclyffe >all. Radcl!ffe Hall. umbral).. "f something is descri&ed as liminal. Do !ou agree with R!an. reflect “an e pression of preference for women o%er men” (p. typical of a very young person trying to make sense of who she is. *1uate the sense of being lesbian or gay with the metaphorical transgression of boundaries or limits of the Gnormal7.)+./. “I was m! foolish aunt” (l. Hita @ac"%ille+West. -ertainly. What would it mean if the stress falls on she. . . Porothy 'ichardson. This explains her anxious desire not to be like her aunt. .. there seems to be a concern with women H their place in the world. <hapter *.R!an as"s us to consider where the stress falls in the phrase “she was&a foolish. and R!an.6+. as R!an suggests? The stress falling on "she" in 8she wasEa foolish. a less than enthusiastic reaction to traditional female roles. the ways in which they are represented. that the pre%ious lines (and much of the poem.? The line 8I was my foolish aunt: (l. but any preference for women is not openly declaredI at best... 'yan's interpretation is not really based on a close reading of the poem and it is based on elements that are not in Bishop's poem. it refers to the process or moment of crossing a &oundary or threshold (limen Da Latin #ordE F threshold ..? It cannot be said that the poem openly 'expresses' a preference for women. British lesbian writing of the ?L century will probably include Airginia <oolf.

an act of resistance. including the sharing of a rich inner life. the patterns of anonymous sex among male homosexuals. I wanted. the giving and receiving of practical and political support . women.1+. disempowers2 weakens. to incite new 1uestions in classrooms and academic Journals. not simply the fact that a woman has had or consciously desired genital sexual experience with another woman. %art of the history of lesbian existence is. and to distort the experience of heterosexual women as well. to be found where lesbians. .<0e . 3esbians have historically been deprived of a political existence through 8inclusion: as female versions of male homosexuality. removes power from H in this case. not simply a validation of personal lives./0. male right of access2 the moral and legal privilege to intervene in all aspects of a woman7s life. for feminists to find it less possible to read. But there are differences+ women7s lack of economic and cultural privilege relative to menI 1ualitative differences in female and male relationships H for example. 'eveal the homophobia of standard literature and criticism. academic Journals2 learned maga9ines which publish scholarly articles (academic Cournals L re%istas cientMficas!. >a"e into account their context within the passage.• • • &et#een one space. or teach from a perspective of unexamined heterocentricit!. woman identification2 to feel an identification with women (as opposed to men!. Bocus on literary genres which have strongly shaped western standards of masculinity or femininity.. and the pronounced ageism in male homosexual standards of sexual attractiveness. I want to say a little about the way 8-ompulsory >eterosexuality: was originally conceived and the context in which we are now living. but anti feminist in its conse1uences. Irom Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence. It was written in part to challenge the erasure of lesbian existence from so much of scholarly feminist literature. the bonding against male tyranny. But it is more than these. at least. and to sketch. It is also a direct or indirect attack on male right of access to women. I also hoped that other lesbians would feel the depth and breadth of woman identification and woman bonding that has run like a continuous though stifled theme through the heterosexual experience. and that this would become increasingly a politically activating impulse. have shared a kind of social life and common cause with homosexual men. some bridge over the gap between les&ian and feminist. write. at the very least. Fi%e brief definitions or eKui%alent terms for the following terms and e pressions.system. )1/=. Les&ian e=istence suggests both the fact of the historical presence of lesbians and our continuing creation of the meaning of that existence. 3esbian existence comprises both the breaking of a taboo and the reCection of a compulsory way of life.-). To e1uate lesbian existence with male homosexuality because each is stigmati9ed is to erase female reality once again./0 I have chosen to use the terms les&ian e=istence and les&ian continuum because the word les&ianism has a clinical and limiting ring. *xpose homosexual (and traditionally suppressed! characteristics of standard literary works. “Ioreword” ()1/-. which suppress certain explicitly homosexual material or simply fail to study it.can0 expand it to embrace many more forms of primary intensity between and among women. . I mean the term les&ian continuum to include a range H through each woman7s life and throughout history H of woman identified experience. It was not written to widen divisions but to encourage heterosexual feminists to examine heterosexuality as a political institution which disempowers women H and to change it. lacking a coherent female community.. although we may first begin to perceive it as a form of naysaying to patriarchy. obviously. I wanted the essay to suggest new kinds of criticism. . <ritical 8uthors 8DRIDBBD RI<H ()1.category and another. an erasure which I felt (and feel! to be not Cust anti lesbian. heterocentricit!2 the practice of viewing reality from a heterosexual perspective.

“>oward a Blac" Ieminist <riticism” ()1**./0 (t the present time I feel that the politics of feminism have a direct relationship to the state of Black women7s literature. Rich criticiGes the eKuating of “les$ian e istence with male homose ualit!” (par. assuming them to be the same as those of gay men. female. progressive. expectedly. (ll segments of the literary world H whether establishment. . Wh!? Because it suppresses female reality once moreI it erases the specific experiences of lesbians.ageism2 8( process of systematic stereotyping of and discrimination against people because they are old. 3ong before I tried to write this I reali9ed that I was attempting something unprecedented.. D plain $riefl! how she distinguishes $etween the two. this speciali9ed lack of knowledge is inextricably connected to their not knowing in any concrete or politically transforming way that Black women of any description dwell in this place. I will outline some of the principles that I think a Black feminist critic could use. )ot by white women critics who think of themselves as feminists. These things have not been done. Bor whites. >he term compulsor! heterose ualit! appears twice ? as part of and in reference to the title (line ). Irom !our reading of the te t. The breadth of her familiarity with these writers . It is galling that ostensible feminists and acknowledged lesbians have been so oblivious to the implications of any womanhood that is not white womanhood and that they have yet to struggle with the deep racism in themselves that is at the source of their ignorance. past and present. experience. ?LL6. This invisibility. Rich discusses the terms les$ian e istence and les$ian continuum. what do !ou thin" Rich means $! this term? This term is closely related to the expression male right of accessI it is 8the main mechanism underlying and perpetuating male dominance: (>umm 22! B8RB8R8 @4I>H ($. is one reason it is so difficult for me to know where to start. Beginning with a primary commitment to exploring how both sexual and racial politics and Black and female identity are inextricable elements in Black women7s writings. and culture and the brutally complex systems of oppression which shape these are in the 8real world: of white andEor male consciousness beneath consideration.. )ot by white male critics. *dinburgh Qniversity %ress.. autonomous Black feminist movement in this country would open up the space needed for the exploration of Black women7s lives and the creation of consciously Black woman identified art. although they pay the most attention to Black women writers as a group. while les&ian continuum refers to all experiences shared by women H experiences that strengthen bonds among themselves and against male oppression. The Dictionary of Geminist Theory. . that Black women writers and Black lesbian writers exist. Les&ian e=istence refers to the actual presence of lesbians. invisible. however. Black women7s existence. I do not know where to begin.. she would also work from the assumption that Black women writers constitute an identifiable literary tradition. seldom use a consistently feminist analysis or write about Black lesbian literature. something dangerous.. 'esearch on ageism in the media reveals a male bias in representations of the elderly+ older women are less visible than older men and comedy stereotypes discriminate more against older women than against older men: ($aggie >umm. (nd most crucially not by Black women critics. merely by writing about Black women writers from a feminist perspective and about Black lesbian writers from any perspective at all. or at least act as if they do not know. which goes beyond anything that either Black men or white women experience and tell about in their writing. In paragraph . =!. unknown. or lesbian H do not know. or their lives. )1. It seems overwhelming to break such a massive silence. is the reali9ation that so many of the women who will read this have not yet noticed us missing either from their reading matter. who. their politics. )ot by Black male critics. *ven more numbing. The terms avoid the 8clinical ring: of les&ianism. Black.=.. ( viable.

Black women critics. white women critics. annoyance. according to @mith./0 (nother principle which grows out of the concept of a tradition and which would also help to strengthen this tradition would be for the critic to look first for precedents and insights in interpretation within the works of other Black women. What.=ford Dictionary!. is she referring to? 8Black women7s existence. bury or drown beneath a huge mass. racial politics H we may rewrite the above 1uote thus+ 8The political character of race which is based on the une1ual power of white black relations:. @mith refers to “>his in%isi$ilit!” in paragraph 6. Mmith is saying that ostensi$le feminists are not real feminists.to0 overpower with emotion. galling2 if something is galling.things0: (par. social and economic experiences. but that thematically. willfully forgetting about something. ta"ing into account their conte t within the passage2 %erwhelming2 from the verb 8overwhelm:+ 8. meaning to remove all sensation fromI to paraly9e. o$li%ious2 ignorant of. Black male critics. se ual politics2 8The political character of sexuality which is based on the une1ual power of sexual relations: (>umm ?=2!. The Black feminist critic would be constantly aware of the political implications of her work and would assert the connections between it and the political situation of all Black women.!. and economic experience they have been obliged share. num&ing.would have shown her that not only is theirs a verifiable historical tradition that parallels in time the tradition of Black men and white women writing in this country. . submerge utterly: (The Honcise . Fi%e brief definitions or eKui%alent terms for the following terms and e pressions. social. Which groups. In other words she would think and write out of her own identity and not try to graft the ideas or methodology of whiteEmale literary thought upon the precious materials of Black women7s art. blind or insensitive towards. it causes extreme indignation. 0. Note ho# &y piling up the present participles @over#helming. . hiding reality. and conceptually Black women writers manifest common approaches to the act of creating literature as a direct result of the specific political. experience. is inspired by and gives the perspective of Black women. racial and identity politics in Black women7s writingI ii! the acknowledgement that she can identify a Black female literary traCectoryI iii! knowing that this traCectory parallels historically Black male and white female literary traditionsI iv! and also that Black women authors reveal common literary practices rooted in shared political. Re+read paragraph ). a Blac" feminist critic could use? The Black feminist critic can use the following principles+ i! a fundamental commitment to exploring the inevitable presence of sexual. irritation. num$ing2 from the verb 8to numb:. What are “some of the principles” (par.e. Black feminist criticism would by definition be highly innovative. . The sense in the conte=t of 7mith$s essay is that the author feels overpowered &y and helpless in the face of the tas5 of &rea5ing the 'massive silence* surrounding #riting &y >lac5 #omen (note also the capitali)ation of ' lac5*). and culture and the brutally complex systems of oppression which shape these . $lac" woman+identified art2 art which focuses on. embodying the daring spirit of the works themselves. ha%e traditionall! not written a$out Blac" les$ian writers? <hite male critics. stylistically. i. ostensi$le2 apparent. seeming. stupefy. aesthetically. galling@ 7mith conveys the ongoing (F continuing) nature of the pro&lem she is addressing. precisel!.