Saturday, June 23, 2007

Women Poets, Non-Women Poets

Seeing today that I had a post label for women poets, but none for 'men poets', I went to create one for the Jacob Polley post only to realise that we don't tend to say 'men poets' in Britain. We say 'male poets', if we mention their gender at all. Dear little genderless things. Non-women poets.

Googling for some advice on this, I found an article by Clare Pollard, 'The Female Poet & the Male Muse', which appears on the Magma poetry website. It doesn't really address the issue of men/male poets but does at least make amusing reading on a grey Saturday morning.

I'm going to go with 'male poets', though I am sorely tempted to use 'non-women', if only to point up the ridiculousness of the fact that we have such a frequently used label for women who write poetry, but none for men. Because 'male poet' is the default, of course. Like male Prime Minister. Male passenger jet pilot. Male snooker player.

Okay, waiting for the fallout ...


Ms Baroque said...


But you have to admit it beats the bejaysus out of 'poetesses'.

I'll go look out Clare's article.

Anonymous said...

Hell, yes - anything (almost) is better than 'poetess'

The colours are much better, Jane - I can see the links now.


Jane Holland said...

Anything for you, Angela, anything!

(A Poet S.)

Jane Holland said...

Hey, gotta share this with the girls. I was just looking up an online article that apparently linked Simon Armitage and Don Paterson (yeah, I know, but I'm trying to avoid doing my Greek studies) and found this little gem:

don paterson born 1963
Buy don paterson born 1963 at eBay Stores. More of what you love!

Don't you just love the net?!


Anonymous said...

Ooh - I wonder if I could afford him?

I'd love to have an editor I could keep in the cupboard and wheel out when needed


Jane Holland said...

I'd love to have an editor I could keep in the cupboard and torture when necessary.

Erm ... though Chris at Salt is utterly luverly, natch!