Abandoned Women and Poetic Tradition

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University of Chicago Press, Sep 15, 1988 - Literary Criticism - 300 pages
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At the heart of poetic tradition is a figure of abandonment, a woman forsaken and out of control. She appears in writings ancient and modern, in the East and the West, in high art and popular culture produced by women and by men. What accounts for her perennial fascination? What is her function—in poems and for writers? Lawrence Lipking suggests many possibilities. In this figure he finds a partial record of women's experience, an instrument for the expression of religious love and yearning, a voice for psychological fears, and, finally, a model for the poet. Abandoned women inspire new ways of reading poems and poetic tradition.

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Sappho Descending Abandonment to the Present
The Rape of the Sibyl Male Poets and Abandoned Women
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About the author (1988)

Lawrence Lipking, the Chester D. Tripp Professor of Humanities at Northwestern University, is an editor of the Norton Anthology of English Literature and author of The Ordering of the Arts in Eighteenth-Century England and The Life of the Poet, which is published by the University of Chicago Press.

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