Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Hélène Cixous, C. D. Wright and My Own Poetic Struggle

I have been reading a little about ecriture feminine. Some writers in the 1970s and 80s wanted to write in new styles that would express women's sexuality, embodiment and sensibility. They would write more fluidly, with less narrative and be less constrained by reason, they would also employ greater ambiguity and more juxtaposition than prose and poetry normally allowed (Burt, Stephen, "I Came to Talk to you in Physical Splendor" Boston Review, December 1997). Hélène Cixous described this as being able "to use our whole body to enable the world to become flesh."

C. D. Wrights work walks a tightrope between ecriture feminine and "the language poets (i.e.Ron Silliman and David Antin) with a small toe dipping its toe into the pool of concrete poetry. This is what makes her poems so fresh and vibrant.

Cixous and other purveyors of ecriture feminine argue that "patriarchy, and its literary styles, forced writers (especially women writers) to mourn, to look back to resented or idealized pasts, to regret or lament already-lost powers, or even lost persons." (Stephen Burt 1998) I recognize some of these themes in my own writing (mourning, loss etc) and know that I want to raise my writing to new levels of meaningfulness. Not to write joyous poetry exactly but to write poetry that celebrates life and all its nuances.


Anonymous said...

You might consider citing more fully--especially the first paragraph, which is pretty much directly from Burt's essay on CD Wright in the Boston Review.

I hope you're able to reach this goal of writing more joyously! Good luck on your MA.

Julia said...