Helen Humphreys’ Afterimage And Anne Sexton’s Poems, For John, Who Begs Me Not To Enquire Further A

2550 words - 10 pages

Helen Humphreys’ Afterimage and Anne Sexton’s poems, For John, Who begs Me Not to Enquire Further and The Black Art

Woman artists have often been condemned as lesser artists than their male contemporaries, and this critical view appears in Helen Humphreys’ Afterimage and in Anne Sexton’s poems “For John, Who begs Me Not to Enquire Further” and “The Black Art”. The woman artists in these works use their creative talents to escape the mundane and sometimes painful realities of their lives. They are also experimental in their approach to subject matters and are eager to transgress societal beliefs. While their methods and journeys differ, the women in these works emerge as true artists through their distinct outlooks on life, their novel approaches to subject matter, and their transgressions of traditional beliefs.

In Humphreys’ Afterimage, the protagonist Annie Phelan is a budding artist-model who has suffered from a life of loss and pain. To escape from reality, she flees to the imaginary world of Jane Eyre. Annie compares her new employers, the Dashells, to the characters in her favourite novel. She is disappointed, for she is unable to make her imaginary world come alive. This dreamy quality of the female artist resonates in the heart of the female narrator in “The Black Art” who hurts from feeling “too much” (The Black Art 1). Like Annie, this poet senses ennui towards everyday life. She feels “as if mourners and gossips/and vegetables were never enough” (4-5). At the end of the poem, the narrator is still at odds with the real world in which “the children leave in disgust” (23). In Afterimage, however, Annie finds hope in Jane Eyre after she discovers that the Dashells are easygoing employers: “Perhaps it is time to read Jane Eyre again. Perhaps, now, there is a more appropriate phrase for Annie to choose as her own” (30). Jane Eyre is a selfless and bold heroine. Annie, by appropriating Jane’s attitudes towards life, is able to pose selflessly for her employer Isabelle Dashell; later, Annie becomes bold like Jane Eyre and directs the photographic sessions with Isabelle. Therefore, while Annie escapes from reality by posing for Isabelle and by immersing herself in the world of Jane Eyre, she is also able to transform the energy she obtains from Jane Eyre into the real world of art.

Because the female artist often lives in both the real world and the imaginary world of art, she can be lost in both. When Eldon Dashell shows Annie his map of Ireland, Annie must touch it “to make it real, to really see it” (Humphreys 111). Isabelle Dashell, the photographer, is also torn between both worlds. While working on the photograph of “Sappho”, the lover of men and women, Isabelle becomes intoxicated with the notion of becoming Sappho: “To be Sappho is tempting. To love a woman is never to have the product of that love be death” (99). Isabelle, like Annie and the poet from “The Black Art”, wants to escape from reality...

Find Another Essay On Helen Humphreys’ Afterimage and Anne Sexton’s poems, For John, Who begs Me Not to Enquire Further a

Analysis of Shall I Compare Thee to a Summers Day, First Love and Let Me Not

1421 words - 6 pages themes. He is asking a question in line seventeen hoping that she will return his love. She heard his "silent voice" and "love's appeal to know." She is intrigued and appealed about his love for her. In the final four lines he say's he has never seen anyone as beautiful as her and his heart has "left his body and can return no more." Let me not is written by William Shakespeare and he is writing about true love. In the

Who benefits and who loses when a common market for labour is extended to more countries

1948 words - 8 pages Who benefits and who loses when a common market for labour is extended to more countries? Explain your answer with reference to economic theory and to EU experience. Comment also on the future implications of the 2004 enlargement. Many people talk about the 'common market', by which they meant the European Economic Community in its early decades. Ths is a group of geographically close European nations among

Biography, Interpretation Of Poems, And Bibliography Of Anne Bradstreet

4443 words - 18 pages / Great Bartas' sugar'd lines do but read o'er, / Fool, I do grudge the Muses did not part / 'Twixt him and me that over-fluent store. / A Bartas can do what a Bartas will / But simple I according to my skill." (Lines 7-12)Bibliography:1. Bengtsson, Gunnar, "Anne Bradsteet - Poems and Biography", http://www.americanpoems.com/poets/Anne-Bradstreet, June 8, 20052. Martin, Wendy. An American Triptych: Anne Bradstreet, Emily Dickinson, Adrienne Rich

The Biblical Aspecst in the poems “A Stone's Throw” and “The Woman Speaks to the Man who has Employed her son”

1165 words - 5 pages The Biblical Aspecst in the poems “A Stone's Throw” and “The Woman Speaks to the Man who has Employed her son” The poem “A Stone's Throw” by Elma Mitchel and “The Woman Speaks to the Man who has Employed her son” by Lorna Goodison both deal with the theme of religion. These poems differ in content; one deals with a woman being persecuted for her sins and the other has to do with a mother’s love for her child. This essay aims to outline the

A Comparison of John Clare Poems

1659 words - 7 pages present almost immediately from the first lines when he says how he is alive but how none cares or even knows who he is. However, the change in mood from the second poem may be more depressing for the reader but the reader longs for the poet to escape, I could not help but think wanting John Clare to be put out of his misery. But in conclusion to both these poems, after reading a little about the politics in use at the time and how asylums were used

The attitude for success...This is a real good essay for a teacher who always says"don't tell me what happend tell me why and how" Its basically his life before he helped make the US free

726 words - 3 pages him out of jealousy for his work on the paper, Ben did not give up what he loved. Ben took his talents elsewhere and ran away. Franklin would later prove that there is nothing more valuable to invest in then thy own oneself, as he borrowed some money and would set up his own print shop. Ben was a very enterprising individual, in addition to running a print shop; he owned his own bookstore. Franklin's puritan work ethic allowed him to purchase the

Arguments for Further Amendments to the NDPS Act

2183 words - 9 pages drug related offences (IHRN, 2009). In 2001 Portugal decriminalized possession, acquisition and consumption of narcotic substances for personal use. Ten years later irrefutable empirical evidence points to the fact that decriminalization did not lead to a spike in the number of drug dependent persons or an increase in drug related violence. On the contrary numerous studies show that there has been significant decline in petty crimes related to

a friend for me, and a friend for you

681 words - 3 pages different schools, grades and being different ages. Rowing granted me the opportunity to interact with other students who share the same interest in the sport; but also to familiarize myself with people who do not go to my school. Now, after months of training, I am proud to say that I have a support crew, as well as an incredible circle of friends, whom are all just a bit crazy. Now, what we must do as a culture, is to stride to make every

Amnesty is a Catalyst for Further Insurgency in Nigeria

904 words - 4 pages the next presidential elections on air that if President Goodluck Jonathan - who also hails from the south-south region is not re-elected to power, the militants will take up their arms again (Ukaibe). Besides, an amnesty programme portrays the military as weak and incapable of providing adequate security for citizens. It shows the inability of the government to check weapon proliferation and to forestall further attacks and insurgent activities

This essay compares the common theme of death in two poems by Emily Dickinson, the poems are "I hear a fly buzz when i died" and "because i could not stop for death"

606 words - 2 pages ordinary scene.In the poem "Because I Could Not Stop For Death" Dickinson is again writing in the first person and she also opens up the scene in a very casual type of manner. She says that death came to pick her up in a carriage and "The Carriage held but just Ourselves - And Immortality". This shows that once again death is as common a thing as taking a carriage ride with a friend or a beau rather than being a horrific ordeal with a great amount of

John Keats' Ode to Nightingale and Negative Capability Are Poems of Feeling

1071 words - 4 pages poetry of impersonality that “records the writer’s receptivity to the uncertainties of experience” (Greenblatt 942n9), rather than “poetry that is evidently shaped by the writer’s personal interests and beliefs” (Greenblatt 942n9). Keats defines this concept as “Negative Capability, further elaborating on its ideas in an 1817 letter to George and Thomas Keats. In order for a poet to understand reality, he must be open minded and be able to dwell on

Similar Essays

Describe The Different Aspects Of Chilhood Through The 3 Poems("Piano", "My Parents Kept Me From Children Who Were Rough", "Half Past Two")

2544 words - 10 pages their feelings of as I was reading the three poems I came across different emotions of nostalgic as in piano by Lawrence and indignation as in half past two fanthorpe or bitterness and oppression in "my parents kept me from children who rough" by Stephen spender.'Half Past Two' is a poem in which Fanthorpe describes how a young child is given a detention for an unspecified misdemeanor and is forgotten by his teacher. Fanthorpe draws on her

Biography Of Helen Keller And Anne Sullivan

2371 words - 10 pages graduation, Michael Anagnos, the director of Perkins School for Blind, helped Sullivan to get a job teaching a young girl, named Helen Keller, who suffered from blindness and deafness (Anne Sullivan, Biography.com). Helen Keller was born in Tuscumbia, Alabama on June 27, 1880 (Keller, Hki.org). She was the oldest of her two other sisters (Helen Keller, Biography.com). Her family was not wealthy by any means but they owned a cotton plantation that helped

Salome And Anne Hathaway In Carol Anne Duffy's Poems

1324 words - 5 pages Salome and Anne Hathaway in Carol Anne Duffy's Poems Carol Anne Duffy wrote both Salome and Anne Hathaway. In this essay I am going to be comparing how the characters of Salome and Anne Hathaway are presented in Duffy's two poems. Duffy's intention as with all of her poems is to give historically famous women who were previously unheard a new voice. Both these poems are written in the women's view like a monologue

Black Like Me, By John Howard Griffin And To Kill A Mocking Bird, By Harper Lee

2505 words - 10 pages In Black Like Me, author John Howard Griffin’s uses his real life account of his experience of temporarily transforming himself into a black man for six long and intense weeks to experience black oppression first hand. In To Kill a Mockingbird, author Harper Lee uses the point of view of Scout Finch, to learn about her father Atticus Finch, an attorney who hopelessly strives to prove the innocence of a black man that was unjustly accused