Poems Between Women: Four Centuries of Love, Romantic Friendship, and Desire
Columbia University Press, 1997 - Poetry - 209 pages
The collection Poems Between Women explores many facets of female-female relationships in poems not only about love or affection between or inspired by women but also about the moments that complicate and call into question the nature of sexuality and intimacy between women. Including women married and single, young and old, lesbian, bisexual, and heterosexual, the anthology covers historical development and changing mores through the seventeenth century, after the Restoration of Charles II, a time of relative freedom for women; the eighteenth century, when the cult of romantic friendship reached its peak; the nineteenth century, when women writers wrote about issues of same-sex desire indirectly and explored complex issues such as death in tones of weariness and resignation; and the twentieth century, when poets began to engage in more overt explorations of women's bodies, sensuality, and lovemaking. Emma Donoghue's introduction deftly guides readers into the rich tradition of women's poetry in English, exploring the relationships between poets and their muses and poets and their cultures. Poems Between Women is testimony not only to the recurring theme of the unique bonds among women but also to the universality of love, friendship, and creativity.
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Bessie Rayner Parkes
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