Calliope come lately: the continuing relevance of poetic form from the renaissance to present day

Pye, Stella (2015) Calliope come lately: the continuing relevance of poetic form from the renaissance to present day. PhD thesis, University of Bolton.

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Calliope was the muse of epic poetry, and this thesis could be described as an epic poem in the sense that the protagonists, my chosen poets, have their entrances and exits, along with my odyssey of creative development. The creative writing component is embedded within the prose, and the aims are symbiotic. The prose element seeks to determine whether there are similarities between the ways in which male and female writers utilize poetic forms in each chosen period from the Renaissance to the present day, (e.g. whether male poets are more or less assertive than women poets). The concept of ‘self-fashioning’ over-arches the thesis, with underlying issues of gender, class and race, and inherent connotations of ‘owned language’ and outsider status. Ekphrastic poetry is integral to the text. This chronologically constructed thesis begins by briefly exploring ways in which Italian Renaissance poet Gaspara Stampa subverted the sonnet form for self-promotional purposes. Chapter 1 considers how iconic male poets, Shakespeare, Wyatt and Donne, and lesser-known female poets Mary Wroth and Isabella Whitney, writing in sixteenth and seventeenth century England, used metaphorical comparisons as a means of self-fashioning. Eighteenth-century poetry by Anne Finch and Alexander Pope is then compared in terms of metaphorically antithetical Classicism (Chapter 2). ‘Factory poetry’ from Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Thomas Hood, and ‘art-versus-life’ poetry are nineteenth-century considerations (Chapter 3). The visual theme continues with Hilda Doolittle’s deviation from Ezra Pound’s Imagist ‘rules’, and moves organically towards ekphrastic poetry from Elizabeth Jennings and Philip Larkin (Chapters 4 and 5). Ekphrasis is the starting-point for a study of poetry from twentieth-century American female New Formalists, in which issues of class, race and, particularly ‘owned language’ are addressed. Class and ‘owned language’ is crucial to the final chapter, surrounding contending voices in sonnets by Tony Harrison and the present poet (Chapters 6 and 7). The present poet’s own self-fashioning in her creative odyssey is inextricable from the text.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: An electronic version of the thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the University of Bolton for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy
Divisions: Bolton School of the Arts > English and Creative Writing
University of Bolton Theses > Creative Writing
University of Bolton Theses > English
Depositing User: Tracey Gill
Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2015 12:42
Last Modified: 05 Apr 2019 10:03

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