Flawed Light

Flawed Light : American Women Poets and Alcohol

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&&LI&& Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} The relationship between alcoholism and the poetic process has been well established, but the history of heavy-drinking poets in the twentieth century tilts disproportionately toward male writers such as John Berryman, Robert Lowell, or Theodore Roethke. Women poets, however, were just as susceptible to alcohol, and they very often wrote about its effects on their bodies, minds, and lives. In this study, Brett C. Millier looks at the role of drinking in the lives and poetry of American women poets in the first half of the twentieth century. Millier reads the poems of Dorothy Parker, Louise Bogan, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Elinor Wylie, L\u00e9onie Adams, Isabella Gardner, and Elizabeth Bishop--and in counterpoint, the poems of Jean Garrigue--to see how they negotiated their alcoholism with their art. Despite the shame and isolation these writers suffered as a result of their heavy drinking and despite the oppressive restrictions on subject matter placed on women poets by the critical establishment in this era, these female poets nevertheless wrote about alcohol. Millier looks at figures for alcohol and inebriation that these writers used in their work in defiance of the masculine Modernist code of impersonality in art. As women in a remarkable tradition of female lyric poets, their subjects and voices were circumscribed by their sex, but their lasting poems artfully record these painful struggles.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 168 pages
  • 152.4 x 228.6 x 22.86mm | 793.78g
  • University of Illinois Press
  • Baltimore, United States
  • English
  • 0252034619
  • 9780252034619

Review quote

"Recommended."--Choiceshow more

About Brett Candlish Millier

Brett C. Millier is Reginald L. Cook Professor of American Literature at Middlebury College and the author of Elizabeth Bishop: Life and the Memory of It and other works.show more

Table of contents

Preface iv; Acknowledgments xi; Women Poets and Alcohol: An Introduction 13; Chapter 1 - "Just a Little One": Dorothy Parker as Archetype 35; Chapter 2 - "The Alchemist": Louise Bogan 59; Chapter 3 - "I must not die of pity": Edna St. Vincent Millay's Addictions 97; Chapter 4 - "Hold to Oblivion": Elinor Wylie's Intolerable Life 122; Chapter 5 - "Thought's End": Leonie Adams and the Life of the Mind 143; Chapter 6 - "Words from the Piazza del Limbo": Isabella Gardner as Fallen Woman 169; Chapter 7 - "The Prodigal": Elizabeth Bishop's Exile 194; Chapter 8 - Jean Garrigue: An Epilogue 225; Afterword 240; Notes 246; Works Cited 255show more