To write about women’s poetry is to cheat both women and poetry – as if there existed a separate gender of women’s poetry full of lamentations and enchantments. Nevertheless, the voices of poets and poetesses[1] do often differ in intonation, in levels of intimacy, in the tensions of their strings: Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell; Czesław Miłosz and Wisława Szymborska; Maironis and Salomėja Nėris. Poetic voices need to be different. I am thinking of the voice as an instrument of the body, or as a sound system for embodied experiences. And those experiences, styles of speech, vocabularies and biographies are in various ways marked by being women’s or men’s – even if that identity changes, gets deconstructed, or is not reflected upon at all. In the texts of poetesses I find more ‘sins’ and ‘newborns’, but that doesn’t mean that there is no ‘soul’ anymore. Maybe women give birth to poems, while men feel the rise of inspiration.

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