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Understanding Feminist Poetry

Explore the feminist poets and their influence on feminism throughout the modern era in this free online course.

Publisher: NPTEL
What sets feminist poetry apart from other forms of poetry, and what makes it distinctive? In this free online course, you will learn about the impact that feminist poetry had on the feminist movement. You will also learn more about what defined feminist poetry and how it changed the ideals surrounding poetry. Discover the different feminist poets and their relevance in the realm of poetry and beyond. Learn what makes their poems exceptional!
Understanding Feminist Poetry
  • Duration

    3-4 Hours
  • Students

  • Accreditation






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Feminist poetry is a movement that came alive in the modern era. How was feminism relevant in poetry? During the 1960s, many writers were challenging traditional notions when it came to the morals surrounding poetry. Before this wave of writing became popular, there was the idea that women and the female experience were not compatible with poetry. This concept continued its hold until the second wave in the feminist movement. The second wave was from 1960 to the 1970s and bought a cultural watershed. During this time women fought for equal treatment and civil rights. On the other hand, women poets created structures to support each other while ultimately changing notions behind poetry itself. In this course, you will learn about the exciting turn of events that led to the relevance of feminist poetry in modernism. This course will teach you about how the rise of feminist poetry came to be. Here you will learn how the modern era encouraged the rise of the feminist genre and how it shifted the constraints around poetry in general. 

This course on feminist poetry in the modern era begins by giving you some background of the feminist movement. At this point, you will gain a greater understanding of what the different waves of feminism mean. You will learn about the influence the first wave had on feminism and its impact on the second wave to rise up and make a difference in poetry. After learning the basics surrounding the history of feminism, you will learn about the key features that make feminist poetry unique. Next, you will be introduced to some of the riveting poets of feminism, particularly Maya Angelou and Adrienne Rich. You will study each individually and learn more about their influence in the world of poetry and beyond. You will take an extensive look into the poems of these two women, with a particular focus on Maya Angelou’s poem ‘Phenomenal Women’ and the impact this poem had on the feminist movement.

Finally, you will meet the one and only Sylvia Plath. You will discover her life story and analyse her poetry extensively. You will also learn about the importance of the poet P.K. Page and her poetry during this time. In this section, you will study their lives to understand better the context in which they wrote their poems. Along with these two renowned poets, you will continue to learn about the historical and literary context that influenced the likes of Judith Wright. Here you will analyse her poetry ‘Woman to Man’ and discover its hidden meanings. This course is a beginning step in understanding feminism and the impact of feminist poetry, and the context in which it arose. If you have any interest in learning about the importance of the feminist movement and its connection between modernity and poetry, this course is for you! You will be inspired to learn about the impact feminist poetry had outside of the realm of poetry and the influence this high form of analysis had on poetry and literature itself. Start this course today and gain a clearer understanding of feminist poetry.

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