What three poems can be an example of how the women were used in poetry in the 20th century?
I have deliberately chosen three poems from three different eras. Rossetti’s poem was published in the late 19th century, Parker’s published in the early 20th century and Cope’s published in the 21st century. I thought this would be an effective way of communicating to the reader that the topic of female equality has been an issue for hundreds of years. I also wanted to prove that feminist poetry is timeless and relatable for the people of today’s society. The interview was in fact published in New York whereas the other poems were published in London. This shows that this issue does not belong to a certain region and happens everywhere in the world, so all should look upon it. When Rossetti began writing, during the Victorian era, there was a very specific role for women, which included being inferior to men and not having the same rights. For example, single men were permitted to bed whomever they should choose without the judgment of society. However, the women they slept with (and quite often impregnated) were looked down upon by society and labeled impure. Rossetti worked with women in these situations, which I believe inspired her to write such poetry as No Thank You, John, as a way to show the society of her time that she did not want to conform to receive only the love of a man. Dorothy Parker’s Interview was written and published in 1920s New York. At a glance, you would perceive this era to have been full of fun, parties and good times, women did not tend to benefit from society. As the men were given well-paid jobs, working on the likes of Wall Street and consumerism began to increase, women became possessions of their husbands. This makes me think of the poem Interview as the speaker is suggesting that when these men are looking for the ideal woman, they have a list that they stick to, to ensure that she is the right man for him. Wendy Cope’s modern contemporary poem was published in 2006. During the gap from the 1920s to 2006, many of the sexist ideas that state a woman belongs to her husband and that she should be committed to her home and her children have been forgotten and women live more freely and no longer have the same restrictions. However, I believe what Cope is trying to say with the poem Differences of Opinion, no matter how much time has progressed from and how much more freedom women gain; men will always find a way to undermine and oppress women.