If this is the case the absence of an innovative poetic does not allow Greenlaw to achieve her aim.
The staging is rudimentary and the actors remain flat. The poems are indeed accessible but do not provide enough room for her actors to perform, they do not offer enough space for true interpretation. Needless to say, these actors of science have a male voice. The passage is an uncomfortable one and not least for its entirely appropriate derivation of space exploration and military hardware from the same technology. First, we have the surprising spectacle of a contemporary woman poet apparently celebrating and certainly acquiescing to embodiments of phallic power.
Kennedy , Indeed, the shift towards the notion of justice is important because justice is seen as being inclusive, it allows for difference, whereas equality is integrationist Flax The problems tied to the definition of gender have thus gained in importance within the feminist discourse, and this view has found its clearest expression in the work of Judith Butler. The body, then, is a cultural locus of sexual identity, a territory of conflict, a postmodern space where it is impossible to distinguish between that which is free from cultural markers and that which is not.
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Duffy has been exemplary in re-energising a feminist, public voice in poetry. Her habitual use of the dramatic monologue gives her poetry attack and access, and enables her to popularise complex ideas about language and its political role and meanings. Husle , What I want to do is present it as it is.
Duffy , Six years before Greenlaw had published her collection Night Photograph. Greenlaw b, This feeling, that gives both pleasure and pain, is given voice through a song that the Other cannot hear. These are strong virile women and by appropriating the masculine discourse this sequence of poems wants to reaffirm the ambiguity of gender—here to be understood as a cultural construct—and to suggest that any definition of gender can only be elusive.
Duffy , , The appropriation of a masculine discourse, the mask that Duffy gives Salome, even goes as far as to imitate the tone of a man believing himself to be hypermasculine:. Never again! I need to clean up my act, get fitter, cut out the booze and the fags and the sex. The reversal of the situation reveals not the artificiality of the usurpation of the masculine discourse but the artificiality of the discourse itself.
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Greenlaw a, The Galileo of the poem is obsessed by the ontological need to order, ordinate and coordinate the world. He knows why stone falls and smoke rises, why the sand on the shore in the morning is gone in the afternoon. If only he could measure me and find my secrets. Our children were trapped in a tower. He watched them fall, a feather, a stone,.
He dictates notes and ordered their bodies weighed before burial. Contrary to what the masculine discourse of history teaches us, however, the experiment thus carried out is not to help us understand the mysteries of the world but to confirm and consolidate the received notion of the time that the Earth is flat! The historical absurdity that casts Galileo as a partisan of the theories that he spent the better part of his life refuting is disconcerting.
Such a metaphoric reading of the poem does not seem to be justifiable. This is a world beyond the laboratories, the lecture halls and the amphitheatres, beyond even the inquisitors in Rome. Every night he is at the university proving the existence of the edge of the world.
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His students sleep and applaud. This is also why they give Galileo an ovation, not because he has demonstrated a scientific breakthrough but because they can now rejoice in the solidity of their own belief system. The masculine and feminine are thus constructed here along the traditional lines of polar opposites. Furthermore, the masculine preoccupation with the abstract is put forward as a quest to define oneself, to seize and position oneself.
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Man, more particularly men, cannot live within the mysterious or the unthinkable; they cannot live within an ambiguous environment, in an elusive world. The duality of genders, therefore, remains unresolved. The scientific phenomenon of attraction—by which one heavenly body is subjected to the gravitational pull of another, where one such body is in orbit around another without ever separating from it or meeting it—is used by Greenlaw as an analogy to describe a relationship between two young adolescents that is never consummated:. He explains how you get pairs of stars that pull each other into orbit, forever unable to touch or part.
Greenlaw , , 5.
He reminds his sister of the boyfriend she once had as a child, a young love too shy to touch her but always tied to her in memory, inextricably linked to her past:. Is it simply to make the reader understand that there are people who are attracted to each other but who will never be able to know each other intimately?
Could the imagery here serve to tell the reader that the duality which exists between genders is a fixed and determined one, for all eternity? Is it the narrator or is it perhaps Greenlaw the poet herself, holding firmly onto the analogy and firmly refusing any metaphoric interpretation of the image? In their highly influential book The Mad Woman in the Attic , Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar remind us that the woman writer must face up to the mythical masks that men make women wear so that they can define and possess them 2.
The majority of the women poets chosen to represent the New Generation use poetry to tackle these masks and manipulate them ambivalently in order to reaffirm the ambiguous nature of all gendered construction, notably that of the feminine identity as constructed by the male gaze. On the other hand, as we have seen, Greenlaw seems almost to shy away voluntarily from such an engagement.
One may argue that this is a post-feminist stance that aims, legitimately, at destabilising received discourse. Ultimately it is the performance of the Other that is being examined here and it is the gaze of the Other that perceives and interprets this performance. The Other, however, is double, both intrusive and complimentary to the Self. Greenlaw reminds us that the moon is a sunlit object, two spheres at polar opposites meeting from our earthbound viewpoint.
Brooks, Xan, She never does. Her aim is to communicate. National News Section. Friday January 20 Burnett, Craig, Butler, Judith, Modern Literary Theory. Philip Rice and Patricia Waugh, eds. London: Arnold. Duffy, Carol Ann, Bete Noire. Winter Edition. Flax, Jane, Gisela Bock and Susan James, eds. London: Routledge. Poetry Review. Poetry Review: seven years on. Spring Gilbert, Sandra et Susan Gubar, New Haven: Yale University Press. Greenlaw, Lavinia, Night Photograph. On inaugura en grande pompe cette nouvelle salle le 2 mai Jules Michelet et Henri Rochefort y prirent la parole. Il ferma dix jours plus tard.
Il n'en reste pas moins que la petite histoire raconte que, lorsqu'elle en sut le prix Mme Allemand tomba malade. Qu'aime-t-on le plus en elles? Ce charme ne s'explique pas. On le subit. Elle ne le savait pas. Elle l'ignorait. Entre M. Pour Derval les petites femmes nues seront la marque de fabrique des Folies. Hyper-Revue a grande spectacle en 2 Actes et 60 Tableaux. Mise en scene de M. Pierre Frejol.
Musique nouvelle de MM. Pares, Ackermann, A. Danses anglaises reglees par Miss Doris Birch sous la direction de Mrs.
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