With No Slither

Photo credit: Charles Bernstein/PennSound ©2007

Rae Armantrout -- Photo credit: Charles Bernstein/PennSound ©2007

“…Pound praised H.D.’s writing by saying that it was ‘straight as the Greek’ and with no ‘slither.’  It took me awhile to see the gynophobia behind such rhetoric.  I wanted my Imagism and my slither, too.  My precision and my doubleness.     …

There is a way in which I am all of these characters–the doctor and the mother as well as the rebellious old woman and the child.  These power struggles begin in the public sphere and are reenacted in private.  The mother is charged with reproducing the social (linguistic) body within the single body of the child.  (Clearly, gender has a lot to do with the power struggles in my poems.  Increasingly so, perhaps.)   …

I think of my poetry as inherently political (though it is not a poetry of opinion).  In an optimistic mood, one might see the multiple, optional relations of parts in such work as a kind of anarchic cooperation.”

–Rae Armantrout, “Cheshire Poetics” from American Women Poets in the 21st Century

2 thoughts on “With No Slither

  1. Pound used the word “slither” often,
    and in almost every case about poetry written by male poets.
    It often applied to Romantic verse.

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