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 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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