By Z. Skoulding
This e-book specializes in the position of town, and its tactics of mutual transformation, in poetry by means of experimental ladies writers. Readings in their paintings are put within the context of theories of city house, whereas new visions of the modern urban and its international relationships are drawn from their strategies in language and shape.
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Extra info for Contemporary Women’s Poetry and Urban Space: Experimental Cities
1 The perception of space is important to the narrative, as one scene after another unfolds before a largely static protagonist. Although, as McCabe points out, there is movement from one scene to another (2002, p. 48), the poem is more typically concerned with Alette’s observations than her action. ” (Notley, 1996, p. 132) The map initially seems to represent space straightforwardly, but it does not occur to Alette to read the map, or to find out where she is and make a decision about where to go next.
Similarly, Elizabeth Grosz’s description of ‘interface’ between body and city, referenced in the Introduction and explored in more detail in the next chapter, provides a helpful feminist perspective on how rhythm mediates between individual and collective subjectivities. The extract from Riley’s poem shows how the poem itself might be seen as an interface in which the cadences of language assert their own rhythms, which in turn connect with the body’s rhythm by demanding its altered breathing in ‘the deeply breathing the electric air’; perception of surrounding others alternates between a sense of the collective (‘grind of buses’) and the individual (‘lone traveller’).
And it feels really weird but then suddenly, a day or so later this little plastic cervix comes out, and you put it in the bath and it expands. Blows up. Really big. You put it over your head. Then wait for love. Yeah it works. Uh, yeah? You really shouldn’t be so defeatist. You believe in like literally nothing. (Morris, 2007, p. 20) The context of speech, and a particular addressee, is woven through the daily locations of the poem – on public transport or eating lunch in the park – and establishes the city as a space of rhythmical verbal interactions.
Contemporary Women’s Poetry and Urban Space: Experimental Cities by Z. Skoulding