Poetry and the Feminine from Behn to Cowper

Cover: Poetry and the Feminine from Behn to Cowper
Jennifer Keith

September 2005 • ISBN 978-1611492651 • $91.00

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Poetry and the Feminine from Behn to Cowper revisits the foundations of poetic representation and value for women and men poets of the Restoration and eighteenth century including Aphra Behn, John Dryden, Anne Killigrew, Anne Finch, and Alexander Pope. The author argues that fundamental to poetic innovation in this era are poets’ revisions of “feminine” figures such as the muse and Nature. Feminine Nature serves these poets as an infinitely expandable category of form that allows them to redefine poetry and poetic subjectivity. These poetic innovations include exploring the very grounds of mimesis, dismantling the hierarchy of poetic kinds, and using sensibility to yoke aesthetic and ethical values. Using an inclusive framework, the author presents a history of poetic change through women’s and men’s complex dialogues with poetic contexts and conventions.

About the Author
Jennifer Keith is Associate Professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.