Belgian Women Poets: An Anthology

Belgian Women Poets: An Anthology

Belgian Women Poets: An Anthology

Belgian Women Poets: An Anthology

Synopsis

"Designed to acquaint an English-speaking public with an important aspect of Belgian literature, this bilingual anthology includes poems and prose poems by twenty-eight women, presented in chronological order according to their date birth. A biobibliographical summary introduces each author. A wide variety of themes, styles, moods, and poetic movements are represented. The foreword offers a general survey of the Belgian poetic scene from a literary and sociological point of view." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

“Is there such a thing as feminine poetry?” asks Belgian writer Jeanine Moulin in the preface to her international anthology covering eight centuries of poetry by women.

Whether there exists a style of writing that can be characterized as specifically feminine, is a question that generates much debate and elicits conflicting answers. This anthology makes no attempt to shed light on such a controversial subject, rather the anthologists hope that the texts offered here may serve to illustrate the insignificance of the question: women, like men, have their own individual style of writing, and there are truly as many styles as there are writers.

It is true, of course, as Jeanine Moulin further observes, that if one still hears of “university women” or “women executives, ” no one ever spoke of “university men” or of “men executives”! Nor, we might add, has there been mention of an “anthology of masculine poetry.” Of course, Moulin wrote these lines in 1966, and times have changed. It remains true, nonetheless, that for various reasons, poetry by women is often neglected in favor of poetry by men.

By definition, an anthology is the end result of a selection. Limitations exist. Choices must be made, and choice implies judgment (always), segregation (perhaps), sacrifice (sometimes), elimination (regretfully). Some anthologies evolve within the confines of thematic, ideological, historical or other chronological limits. We follow a different path, and hope our approach will not be regarded as a parti-pris for exclusion, but rather as a desire to include. To include women who in earlier days were ignored, derided or ostracized as writers—or, in a less distant past, marginalized. It can hardly be denied that women poets occupy a far too modest place in all-inclusive anthologies. This being said, the feminine poetry in this volume serves as a focal point only, not as a manifesto.

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