A Comparative Study between Tennyson's "Demeter and Persephone" and Kizer's "Persephone Pauses"

  • Salma Backroush Almaleki English Literature, M.A Postgraduate

Abstract

This paper discusses the adaptation of Demeter and Persephone’s myth by two poets Alfred Tennyson and Carolyn Kizer. The poems are approached from a feminist point of view. The paper is divided into three sections, the first reviews the theoretical parts concerning mythology and feminism, the second presents the application of the feminist theories on Tennyson’s poem, the third sets forth a similar application of the feminist theories on Kizer’s poem. The study aims to provide answers to crucial questions of the differences between the poets’ interpretations, portrayals of Demeter and her daughter Persephone, and the myth’s reinvented themes, as well as their depictions as heroines. The study has arrived to some outcomes; first, Tennyson’s poem describes motherhood in Demeter’s actions, while Kizer’s poem highlights womanhood in Persephone’s individuation. Second, Tennyson’s version contemplates on social problems, whereas Kizer’s version explores woman’s psychological states. Third, both the poets have constructed their poems as dramatic monologue to give the rightful voice to their heroines.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

References

1. Abrams, M.H. A Glossary of Literary Terms. Ed.7th. USA: Heinle & Heinle, 1999. Print.
2. Baldick, Chris. Concise Dictionary of Literary Terms. New York: Oxford, 1990. Print.
3. Basunia, Joydev. “The Role of Myth in Creation of Environmental Regulations”. Academia. University of Dhaka. Web. Mar, 2016.
4. Bloom, Harold. Victorian Poets. Ed. Harold Bloom. New York: Bloom’s Literary Criticism, 2011. Print.
5. Brooke, Stopford A. Tennyson: His Art and Relation to Modern Life. New York: Kessinger Publishing, 1894. Print.
6. Burkett, Elinor. “Feminism”. Encyclopedia Britannica. Jan, 2016. Web. Mar, 2016.
7. Buron, Melissa. “The Feminine Voice and the Feminine Presence in Nineteenth Century Poetry”. The Victorian Web. Org. Dec, 2003. Web. Mar 2016.
8. Corn, Alfred. “The Impact of Character on Character”. Carolyn Kizer: Perspectives on Her Life & Works. Ed. Annie Finch, Johanna Keller, & Candace McClelland. New York: Cavan Kerry, 2001. 29-39. Print.
9. Dobie, Ann. Theory into Practice: An Introduction to Literary Criticism. USA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2012. Print.
10. Feminist Movement Builder’s Dictionary. 2nd ed. JASS. (2013). Web. Mar, 2016.
11. Gallant, Christina. “Tennyson’s Use of the Nature Goddess in ‘The Hesperides’, ‘Tithonus’ and ‘Demeter and Persephone”. Victorian Poetry. 14.2 (1976): 155-160. Print.
12. Gilbert, Sandra, and Susan Gubar. The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth Century Literary Imagination. London: Yale University Press, 1979. Print.
13. Harrison, Antony. “In the Shadow of E.B.B: Christina Rossetti and Ideological Estrangement”. Victorian Poets. Ed. Harold Bloom. New York: Bloom’s Literary Criticism, 2011. 57-90. Print.
14. Hirsch, Edward. A Poet’s Glossary. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014. Print.
15. Hirsch, Marianne. “Mother and Daughter”. Sign. Vo.7.1 (1981): 200-222. Print.
16. Hobbs, Priscilla. “Persephone: Queen of Individuation”. Mythic Thinking. July, 2011. Web. Mar, 2016.
17. Hutcheon, Linda. A Theory of Adaptation. New York: Routledge, 2006. Print.
18. Johnson, Judith. “Remembering the Goddess: Carolyn Kizer and the Poetics of Generosity”. Carolyn Kizer: Perspectives on Her Life & Works. Ed. Annie Finch, Johanna Keller, & Candace McClelland. New York: Cavan Kerry, 2001. 97-125. Print.
19. Jung, Carl. Psychological Types. Trans. H. G. Baynes. UK. T. and A. Constable LTD, 1938. Print.
20. ___. The Portable Jung. Trans. R. F. Hull. New York: Penguin Book, 1977. Print.
21. Kay, Janet Catherine. Aspects of the Demeter/Persephone Myth in Modern Fiction. MA Thesis. University of Stellenbosch, 2006. Print.
22. Kizer, Carolyn. “Persephone Pauses”. Cool, Calm, and Collected: Poems 1960-2000. Canada: Copper Canyon Press, 2002. Print.
23. Lang, Andrew. Alfred Tennyson. USA: Dunda Books, 2016. Print.
24. Levi-Strauss, Cloude. “The Structural Study of Myth”. The Journal of American Folklore. 68.270 (Oct- Dec 1955): 428-444. Print.
25. Mermin, Dorothy. “The Damsel, The Knight, and The Victorian Woman Poet”. Victorian Poets. Ed. Harold Bloom. New York: Bloom’s Literary Criticism, 2011. 21- 38. Print.
26. Morford, Mark P. O., Robert J. Lenardon. Classical Mythology. Ohio: Oxford University Press, 1999. Print.
27. Phillips, Robert. “Larger than Life: Mythology and Carolyn Kizer”. Carolyn Kizer: Perspectives on Her Life & Works. Ed. Annie Finch, Johanna Keller, & Candace McClelland. New York: Cavan Kerry, 2001. 75-84. Print.
28. Pomeroy, Sarah. Goddesses, Whores, Wives, and Slaves: Women in Classical Antiquity. New York: Schocken Book, 1995. Print.
29. Radford, Andrew. The Lost Girls: Demeter –Persephone and the Literary Imagination, 1850-1930. New York: Rodopi, 2007. Print.
30. Reeves, Charles Eric. “Myth Theory and Criticism”. The Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism. Ed. Michal Groden and Martin Kreiswrth. (1997). Web. Mar, 2016.
31. Tennyson, Alfred. “Demeter and Persephone”. Tennyson Poems. New York: Everyman’s Library, 2004. Print.
32. Woolf, Virginia. “Profession of Women”. The Death of the Moth and Other Essays. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1974. Print.
Published
2018-02-24
How to Cite
ALMALEKI, Salma Backroush. A Comparative Study between Tennyson's "Demeter and Persephone" and Kizer's "Persephone Pauses". Contemporary Literary Review India, [S.l.], v. 5, n. 1, p. 1-42, feb. 2018. ISSN 2394-6075. Available at: <http://literaryjournal.in/index.php/clri/article/view/263>. Date accessed: 26 may 2018.
Section
Research Papers