Feminist Poetry Analysis

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The period 1971-80 was a period of economic depression, growing number of women poets emerged, approving new associations and gaps. Though what became known as feminist poetry was discharged by an academy as hysterically partisan, in openly tackling sexuality, and taboos like lesbianism, abortion and the physical and emotional abuse of women, feminism helped to change what British women wrote poetry about. On the other hand political and literary differences between radical and liberal formalist and experimentalist, proved as divisive among poets as in society at large; remaining silent about the social tensions of the moment.
The major literary events in this period include the celebration of the First International Women’s Day with a march in London and Liverpool, death of Stevie Smith, Phoebe Hesketh was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. In 1972 PN Review was launched , Wendy Mulfoed found Street Editions,Kathleen Raine receives W.H.Smith Literary Award, Molly Holden and Joseph Smith wins Cholmondeley Award, Liz Lochhead wins Scottish Arts Council Award, Virago Press launched, and International Poetry Festival inaugurated .
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The establishment’s slightly confused liking for Smith can be reflected in Beer’s tribute in The Estuary: “A heroine is someone who does what you cannot do/ For yourself and so is the poet. She discovered/ Marvels; a cat that sings, a corpse that comes in/ Out of the rain. She struck compassion/In strange places”(Beer 114).Smith becomes a professional and personal inspiration for Jeni Couzyn as she describes: “Whenever I doubt my own identity as a poet and as a human being , I am able to find in her work , in all its nakedness and pain, the humor and courage that reaffirms for me the validity of poetry. Although in a sense she is dead, Stevie Smith is for me the most accurate, relevant and poignant woman alive” (Couzyn
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