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This essay looks at the poetry of Louise Glück, specifically her two poems “Fugue” and “Persephone the Wanderer” from her 2006 collection Averno, for how the figures of the young woman/daughter and the mother struggle with and for their self-identity in relation to each other and to themselves. Drawing from the philosophy and literary theory of Jacques Derrida, Julia Kristeva, and Margaret Homans to develop the framing concepts of chora, potential capability, paralanguage, and the abject, this essay's argument suggests that these two feminine figures demonstrate difficult and traumatic transformations into what it means to be a woman, to have a woman’s body, and to find a space of meaning in that identity.


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19 Jul 2022
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  • Alternative title
    • The Poetry of Louise Glück: The Search for a Feminine Self

  • Journal title
    • Papers & Publications

  • Volume
    • 6

  • Issue
    • 1

  • Date submitted

    19 July 2022

  • Keywords
  • Additional information
    • Author Biography:

      Allison Cooke is a senior English major with minors in Art History, Media Studies: Journalism, and Philosophy at Presbyterian College. She is from Winnsboro, South Carolina, and has enjoyed reading, writing, and studying poetry from a very early age. After graduation, she will work as a legal assistant at a local firm in her hometown. Allison’s poetry has been published in Off the Coast, Figs and Thistles, and Miscellany, and is forthcoming in plain china.

      Graduation Date:

      May 2017