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Confessional Poetry Movement

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kristin fader

on 10 October 2012

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Transcript of Confessional Poetry Movement

Confessional Poetry Movement By: Vanessa Tenore and Kristin Fader 1950's-1960's Important Poets and Poems Why is this Considered a Movement? Sylvia Plath Reading of "Daddy" Did people eventually learn to except the writing style? Poems Continued Poets Continued Robert Lowell Poems "The Abortion" by Anne Sexton Poets Anne Sexton and Sylvia Plath were important female writers. What is Confessional Poetry? A new way to express deep thoughts and feelings through writing. Robert Lowell Anne Sexton and Sylvia Plath What was society like before this movement? Were they excepting of Poets writing in such an intense way? How did Confessional Poetry Start? Confessional Poetry started off as just writing down feelings. The main subjects poets started to write about were very controversial such as suicidal thoughts, drugs abuse, depression, and alcohol abuse. Instead of using shock therapy in which many doctors suggested, people started to write down their feelings as therapy. At the beginning of the confessional movement, the U.S. was coming off the impact of Wold War II. With serviceman coming back home, this brought a need for many new jobs. With new jobs rising, this brought a very big expansion to the industrial industry. Society at this time was acting very old fashioned, woman were meant to stay home and men were meant to make the money. The white-picket fence type of life was ideal to society. What was happening during this time? Societies View on Confessional Poetry The poets during the 50's and 60's liked confessional poetry because they felt it gave them more freedom to express themselves in ways they never had before. But from the views of non-poets, they felt that confessional poetry was too much like a diary. The feelings expressed in confessional pieces of work were frowned upon. Many felt that when they read certain pieces by poets that they weren't real experiences. That's why they liked those pieces because they thought the poet was so good at their work that they didn't need real experiences to write about. Once they found out that the poetry was based on real experiences they thought it was somewhat phoney. Anyone could take a piece of paper and write about their feelings, so why should it be considered poetry? Confessional poetry brought much controversy between the poet and the reader. Anne Sexton was a true writer who set the stage for other female poets.She decided to focus on writing about her feelings and making it autobiographical. She tended to write about her stays in mental hospitals. Anne started to write as a form of therapy. She didn't want what she wrote about at first to be published or anything, she just wanted to vent through writing. She started to write two or three sonnets a day for a year, which then led to her gathering her poems and putting them into a book called To Bedlam and Part Way Back. Anne putting herself out there and letting people read her personal battles brought many people to start writing down their feelings into poems or books.

Sylvia Plath was a very depressed suicidal woman. But she still seemed to graduate from college going through this tough time. Plath moved away with husband and fellow writer Ted Hughes to England.After staying in England for awhile they decided to move back to Massachusetts and Path began studying with Robert Lowell. In 1963, after having two children, Hughes left Plath for another woman. This led to a great depression she fell into and also brought her to write a lot of poetry. These pieces were then put into her most famous book called Ariel. On February 11th 1963, Plath wrote a letter to her downstairs neighbor stating to call the doctor, she then went upstairs and committed suicide with her gas oven. Plath's poetry is often compared to the great Robert Lowell’s work. Her work is sometimes hard for others to read because it was so violent and disturbing. But that is also why people were so drawn to her work. Anne Sexton and Sylvia Plath Robert Lowell started to write about his personal life and family ties. He taught Sexton and Plath, and later he became their mentor. His work had a huge impact of American poetry. Lowell is suspected of being one of the finders of the Confessional Poetry Movement. Lowell was also imprisoned for refusing to fight in World War II. This event later led to one of his poems called Memories of West Street and Lepke. This was also in his well know book Life Studies. Lowell became one of the most well-known poets during this time for breaking the rules and writing about what is going on inside his mind and how he is feeling. This made a huge impact on confessional poetry. Robert Lowell The Abortion by Anne Sexton
Somebody who should have been born
is gone.

Just as the earth puckered its mouth,
each bud puffing out from its knot,
I changed my shoes, and then drove south.

Up past the Blue Mountains, where
Pennsylvania humps on endlessly,
wearing, like a crayoned cat, its green hair,

its roads sunken in like a gray washboard;
where, in truth, the ground cracks evilly,
a dark socket from which the coal has poured,

Somebody who should have been born
is gone.

the grass as bristly and stout as chives,
and me wondering when the ground would break,
and me wondering how anything fragile survives;

up in Pennsylvania, I met a little man,
not Rumpelstiltskin, at all, at all...
he took the fullness that love began.

Returning north, even the sky grew thin
like a high window looking nowhere.
The road was as flat as a sheet of tin.

Somebody who should have been born
is gone.

Yes, woman, such logic will lead
to loss without death. Or say what you meant,
you coward...this baby that I bleed.
Share on facebook Share on twitter Share on google Share on print "The Abortion" The poem is about Anne’s own experience with getting an abortion, she talks about how the Earth becomes happier as new children are about to be born and instead of staying to enjoy it she left for a worse place. It’s unique because at the time women weren’t so open about sex or abortions, it’s also unique because she had an abortion but the view of the poem is against abortion, as if her own abortion made her realize how awful it was. This was also written in the 1960s, outside of the poetry community people had mixed feelings about the poem, she had gotten an abortion and yet she was against it. Some felt the poem was too much but those inside the poetry community appreciated Anne’s honesty and feelings. About "The Abortion" Otto Plath died when Sylvia was eight years old. This poem shows her struggle to declare that, no matter how terrible her father was and how much he remains in her mind, she is now through with him.The poem was unique to poems before it because it as raw, she held back none of her feelings or thoughts, which was rare in the early 1960's. At this time there were those who wanted to stay old fashioned like it had been in the 1950’s and didn’t approve of this kind of language and attitude , especially from a female. However, people inside the poetic community admired Sylvia for her talent, they were more open-minded and felt they could relate to what she was feeling. "Daddy" by Sylvia Plath Confessional Poetry was considered a movement because the poems dealt with subject matter that never had been discussed so openly before. It opened up new doorways for people to start being more expressive with themselves in writing. The poetry in itself also became very interesting for people who never liked poetry. After rejecting the writing style for a while, people started to gravitate toward the work that was written for the physiological purposes. It was a subject never written about before that they wanted to see a perspective on. The Movement
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