20th Century Women Poets

A few weeks ago I was rummaging through my stuff, sorting and packing my life away to prepare for our upcoming move. As the exhaustion of repetition hit, I felt inspired to look at all of my things. I was placing so much emphasis on the physical items in my life, so I turned to my digital files.

I decided to look through my old academic writing and essays, to see if they were just taking up space on the old hard drive.

Okay, maybe it was more of an excuse to distract myself from the mountains of boxes piling in each bedroom.

Regardless, I read through my conveniently labeled “College” folder, and took a stroll down memory lane. It was kind of nice—topics like Jane Austen, conflict in communication, and Disney princesses met me like an old friend. We’d spent hours together, so it’s only natural for a pleasant reunion, graced by feelings relief (that I don’t have to do this kind of writing anymore) and appreciation (that I was once a late-night last-minute essay writing queen).

I found a paper from one of my hardest classes, 20th Century Women Poets. Throughout this class, we analyzed poems and were tested on our ability to correctly match an out-of-context line of a poem to its author, based entirely on language and style. This course pushed me the most in my entire higher education; I recently filled out an application question about my biggest academic failure, and I wrote about how I failed my first and only exam in this class, after totally overestimating my poetry abilities and underestimating the difficulty of memorizing stanzas. That one hurt.

Fortunately for me, I was able to rise from the ashes that these scorned womanly writers burnt around me. I stepped up my game, turned things around, asked for help, and was given the opportunity to prove that I wasn’t a dolt. Finally, my area of expertise: essay writing.

Which brings us here.

If you’re interested in reading my analysis of two poems written by 20th and 21st century women poets (“Woman with Girdle” by Anne Sexton and “Beauty” by Sandra Beasley), continue onto page two.




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