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Title: Bound and Dangerous: 'Anna Wickham: A poet's daring life'. Jennifer Vaughan Jones. 373pp. Madison Books. $26.95. - 1 56833 253 X.
Contributor(s): Pender, Anne  (author)
Publication Date: 2004
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Abstract: At an art exhibition in London in 1937, the dealer whispered to Anna Wickham's friend Oswell Blakeston that he should take Wickham out of the building, because of her loudly expressed scorn for the paintings. The statuesque Wickham stood up and exclaimed, "You'd better retract, my good man. I may be a minor poet, but I'm a major woman!". Blakeston himself described Anna Wickham as "Olympian" in personality. But the question of Wickham's status as a poet and as a woman, and particularly as a woman poet, dogged her all her life, and simply won't go away.Germaine Greer noted in 1995 that all the things that were said of Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton were also said about Anna Wickham. Strangely, Greer seems to find nothing interesting about the fact that Wickham was writing confessional poetry several decades before the term was coined, and castigates Wickham for what she identifies as her propensity for "cultivating pain". This seems a misrepresentation of Wickham as a poet. In addition to her confessional mode, she wrote both lyrical and polemical pieces; her verse is both delicate and exploratory, direct and musical, elegant and androgynous. Some of her most powerful poems were written in response to her four children. "Song to the Young John" (1915) opens with these lines: "The apple-blossomy king / Is Lord of this new Spring". "The Faithful Mother" (1916) declares "I am here in bondage, to these, little, little hands". In the "The Angry Woman" (1916), the speaker discourses in free verse on "the sexless part of me that is my mind".
Publication Type: Review
Source of Publication: TLS: Times Literary Supplement (13 February), p. 11-11
Publisher: Times Newspapers Ltd.
Place of Publication: London, United Kingdom
ISSN: 0307-661X
Field of Research (FOR): 200503 British and Irish Literature
HERDC Category Description: D3 Review of Single Work
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Appears in Collections:Review
School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

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