Finding the Hole in the Wreck: Shamanic practice in the Poetry of Adrienne Rich and Anne Sexton

Camelia Elias

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In this paper I draw a concrete line from shamanism to confessional poetry. I’m interested in looking at how the cathartic function of confessional writing is even stronger when passed through the traditional shamanic hole that leads to experiencing the underworld of the unconscious. I want to argue that both Adrienne Rich and Anne Sexton manipulate with visualization techniques in their symbolic imagery in order to create an atmosphere that is akin to a shamanic journey. The poetic examples that I want to discuss demonstrate how the “language of the suicides” (Sexton) and “the thing itself” (Rich) are not only a means of ‘getting there’ but also a divinatory medium for getting insight and gaining wisdom on how to overcome the inconvenience of having been born as a woman or at all. Furthermore, I argue that in an animistic worldview, all psychology of transformation is poetic.
Sider (fra-til)1-20
Antal sider20
StatusUdgivet - jul. 2013

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