Thread: James Dickey
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Unread 01-21-2020, 10:49 AM
Rob Wright Rob Wright is offline
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Of course in arguing for the technical skill of Plath or Sexton is to ignore the fact that their appeal, for the vast majority of their readers, has nothing to do with skills. That's not to say that they lack them entirely, or that they don't add to the enjoyment of their readers of their poems – whether they are aware of these skills or not. We are not speaking here of John Hollander or Ellen Voigt. Plath's (and Sexton's) appeal, like it or not, is in daring to speak of what was unspoken. And that brings up a point: can the same can be said of Snodgrass or even Lowell? It is not only Sexton and Plath spoke of what cold not be spoken, but that they did it as women. And clearly there was some need for their words. Whether that is still true I cannot say. But I know that I, who have wrestled with my own angels – their treatment of fractured families and mental illness does speak to me strongly. I recently read Sexton's first two books with interest and – yes – with pleasure. That she has "fallen off recently" does not mean a fig to me.
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