Confessional Poetry - CONFESSIONAL POETRY Coined by a critic not by poets in 1959 by M L Rosenthal in a review of Lowells Life Studies Not a school or

Confessional Poetry - CONFESSIONAL POETRY Coined by a...

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CONFESSIONAL POETRY Coined by a critic, not by poets: in 1959 by M. L. Rosenthal in a review of Lowell’s Life Studies Not a school or group of poets, but rather a style of poetry. Aspects of a confessional poem: 1. True to contemporary life, even at its ugliest (harsh realism) 2. Expresses oneself personally, poetry of the “I” 3. Uses of psychoanalysis, introspection as psychological liberation, and confession as healing release (heavily influenced by psychoanalysis and Freud) 4. Makes the private public, renders personal experience as it truly is, regardless of social convention o Rosenthal: “beyond customary bounds of reticence or personal embarrassment” 5. Challenges moral and social assumptions about normalcy 6. Does not avoid the terrifying or harrowing; seeks to address deepest and darkest fears head on rather than avoid them; expresses truths and experience so painful that they have usually been suppressed by

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