Comparing M. H. Ann Jennings Poetry And Confessionalism

Good Essays
The major point of difference that makes Jennings diverse from the Movement is that she is a sole female poet and also has a streak of confessionalism in her poetry. This chapter looks into Jennings poetry from confessional and autobiographical point of view. In Collected Poems (1986), Jennings preserves a number of poems dealing with the relationship between the composition of art and the experience of human suffering but she deletes most of the poems dealing specifically with psychic disturbances, poems such as “Madness,” “The Jump,” and “Suicides” which could be associated with the excesses of the confessional mode.
Definition of Confessional Poetry:
The Glossary of Literary Terms by M.H.Abhrams designates Confessional Poetry as: “a type
…show more content…
How would you define the term confessional? To which she replied: “I almost think of confession. I don’t like it .It’s probably, because it has become so involved with poets like Anne Sexton. It usually means absorption in some mental… I don’t think poetry has got anything to do with sickness. I had a breakdown and the poems in the book The Mind has Mountains (1966), a title from Hopkins, most of them are not about me. They are not like Anne Sexton’s .I think Sylvia Plath was a marvelous poet. I do not like “Lady Lazarus and “Daddy”. I think they have gone way over. The term confessional has been associated with me, mental illness and revelation, but I don’t think that’s interesting”( Gerlinde Gramang ).When the major critic of Jennings, Emma Mason was interviewed by the researcher during research regarding her confessional mode and mental depression her reply to the same has been quoted as under:
Do you think there is a confessional streak in her poems? Which are some of her best confessional Poems? Mason’s reply was: “I don’t find her confessional. Her poetry seems to adopt a reserved poetics, much like Christina Rossetti’s, a poet who had a huge impact on Jennings.” Secondly when she was asked: What can be a major reason for her attempted suicides? Mason’s comments was “Her struggle with mental illness suggests she struggled with a quite serious form
…show more content…
Rosenthal opines that: “confessional school by now done a certain amount of damage” ( Rosentahl 25). Rosenthal used the phrase “confessional poetry” in 1959 to describe the way Lowell conveyed his private humiliations and sufferings into the psychological problems into the poems. In his revaluation of confessional poetry, he acknowledges “the dead echoing” and “the exhibitionism of the imitators,” but he also emphasizes the achievement, and the distinctive contribution of confessional poetry (25-26) The question of whether confessional poetry has made a “distinctive contribution” to literature has been debated among various critics and poets. D.J.Enright one of the Movement poets, for instance, in the introduction to The Oxford Book of Verse: 1945-80, contends that the cult of confessional poetry, itself is an obsession with identity, is one of the saddest epidemics of recent years” (Enright, The Oxford Book of Verse:

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    Diana also states that Sexton uses “I” rather than her real identity or that person 's real identity. In her poem, her depression and sadness is not shown but you can analyse it; thus seeking out depression and despair in the diction used in the poem. Diana supports her criticism by stating a line for Sexton’s poem. Diana says, “A woman like that… I have been her kind” Diana says that Sexton is conveying the terms on which she wants to be treated; not a victim, but witness and witch (Middlebrook). When analysing this same piece it felt as if she was a depressed women.…

    • 1569 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    However, she was not good at generalizing (Poems). Actually, in her writing, you can recognize the last stage of the Puritans progress from the 1600’s up until now (Poems). Aside from that, she continued to break the unwritten rules of society and pushed the limits so much in her writing that she was almost a “bad girl” on the 19th century and would have fit in well in the 1920’s. But despite her loss of faith, she still made it obvious that she longed to one day go to heaven (Poems). Her craving for heaven is one of the examples of Puritan influence within her writing along with her simplistic words and phrases.…

    • 1887 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Several of her relevant topics delved into concepts that are incomprehensible due to their magnitude. “From Blank to Blank,” is a poem which follows a stream of consciousness where she is battling her personalities against each other, and battling them both against reality (Dickinson, 1). When her brain shatters and she is not able to glue the fragments into a single personality, the narrator demonstrates not only her lack of consciousness, but the craving and necessity for it. “Indefinite disclosed— / I shut my eyes— and groped as well / Twas lighter— to be Blind—” (Dickinson, 8-10), depicts how she feels the embrace of a white light, followed by pain until it numbs and stills her. The narrator reaches the mundane pits of reality before she loses herself and ascends into the energy above.…

    • 1568 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Her mysterious way of writing is a self expressing form in which she emphasizes the sadness she is going through. The tone of the poem changes around stanza number 5, when the poem gets more serious and depressing tone. When Bishop speaks about the places that she lost, readers could’ve thought that she was the queen of that territory, and she tries to hide that she wants the attention that she used to have. The places that she is writing about are places that have a special place in her heart, because of some reason. A critique, J.D.…

    • 779 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Kate Chopin Critique

    • 1102 Words
    • 5 Pages

    One literary critic that supports Chopin’s short story is Jennifer Hicks who wrote the critical review titled “An overview of “The Story of an Hour” (Hicks). While many readers may interrupt Mrs. Mallard’s heart condition as actual heart disease or a physically weak heart Hicks argues, “the problem with her heart is that her marriage has not allowed her to “live for herself.” (Hicks) thereby eluding that she suffers from a broken…

    • 1102 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    They believe that Dickinson “is often cryptic in thought and unmelodious in expression” ("The Poetry of Emily Dickinson.") which in some of her poems that can be very accurate. Dickinson’s word usage was often written to be confusing in order for each person to interpret her poems in different ways. No matter what, there is always a deeper message behind her poems than what the reader sees with just their eyes. In the poem, “Because I Could Not Stop for Death”, Dickinson personifies death such as when she wrote “We slowly drove” (5) implying that both her and death were driving.…

    • 1059 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Despite the intimacy of the subject, Bishop’s drafts caused her poem to stray farther away from her. Millier notes that throughout the drafts of the poem the pain was distanced, depersonalized, and altogether “moved … away from the tawdry self-pity and confession that Bishop disliked in…

    • 1007 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Sylvia Plath suffered from depression throughout her life, which led to her poetry and novels to have a dark tone. One can assume that Esther is an extension of Plath herself, which explains how Plath wrote such a poignantly realistic story around this character. The Bell Jar includes the elements of voice which enhance the grippingly real…

    • 1117 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Emily Dickinson, an introverted American poet with epilepsy, wrote her way into the world of literature in a distinctive and intriguing manner. Her words, while often unrhymed, have left a perpetual ringing in the minds of her readers. Her poems will forever provide them with wonder, however, one may find themselves speculating about what influenced Miss Dickinson to write her poetry the way that she did. Richard Wilbur, an American poet, described Emily Dickinson with the following quote; “I think that for her there are three major privations: she was deprived of an orthodox and steady religious faith; she was deprived of love; she was deprived of literary recognition.” (p.859) Wilbur’s interpretation of Miss Dickinson’s privations can be…

    • 1052 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Words Wide Night Analysis

    • 1120 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Both poems are written in first person and lack a definite rhyme scheme, ‘Variations on the Word Love’ has some iambic elements while ‘Another Elegy’ is written in free verse. It is a five stanza elegy as she laments the death of a loved one. ‘Variation on the Word Love’ has a somewhat metrical structure throughout the two stanzas of the poem. The tone of ‘Another Elegy’ is mournful and pensive, mixed with philosophical elements. ‘Variations on the Word Love’ has a tone of critique of the superficiality with which the word ‘love’ is thrown…

    • 1120 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays