Poetic agency and Carol Ann Duffy




Downer, Christa Jean

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Carol Ann Duffy's poetry challenges traditional poetic processes, such as “universals,” through which fixed notions of identity and epistemic privilege are constructed and perpetuated and creates a poetic for unrepresented voices to be heard. An analysis of Duffy's poetry based on a theoretical framework of feminist epistemology both challenges traditional literary criticism and reveals how Duffy's exploration of identity creates a space where the absences within prevailing dominant narratives are filled and marginalized identities are given voice. By challenging traditional epistemological beliefs, Duffy's poetry allows those on the periphery of disparate power relationships to have their unique understandings of the world legitimized through experiences that are situated and contextual. Finally, by subverting universal truths about identity and representation socially constructed and articulated through language, Duffy's poetic maintains diverse dialogic relationships that become the impetus behind the poetry's democratic accessibility. By emphasizing multiple perspectives in her poetic, Duffy widens the understanding of the relationship between aesthetics and social awareness.



British and Irish literature, Social sciences, Women's studies, Language, literature, and linguistics