Literature by Denise Duhamel, and how it relates to the Female Gender Arsha Austin English 1102, Term 4, ECAMPUSProfessor OwensMay 07, 2010
Denise Duhamel's has a series of literary works that has a main focus on the women gender.
Her series of chapter books contains poetry that will strike the interest of literature fans who favors any genre.
Introduction cont. Duhamel’s first full-length book was Smile! (1993). Smile! includes poems that have realism about the issues that women experience everyday. Girl Soldier (1996) is another one of Duhamel’s great books. This series of poems told stories about the female gender that gave a sense of imagery that put the reader in a women prospect.
Shortly after Girl Soldier, Duhamel published a book of new material called, Kinky (1997).
Kinky explores the more humorous side of a woman.
A more recent chapter book of poems by Duhamel is, Queen for a Day. This book is yet another book filled with unpredictable poems that relate to the link of women, and romance, nudity, and other topics authors may be afraid to relate themselves to.
In some way, each of Denise Duhamel’s books carries a sense of feminism that is noticed in every poem. This characteristic is more noticeable in her earlier works, compared to her more recent books. Further examination can be taken into her sensational books to determine how Duhamel literary contributions display a strong comparison to the female gender.
Smile! is thefirst full length chapter book by Duhamel. This book was published in 1993 by the Warm Spring Press.
The work that Duhamel presents in Smile! displays the characteristics that would make any book a quick page turner. Irony, humor, and great detail all describe the tools that help make this book a success.
Smile! includes poems that have realism about the issues that women experience everyday. These eye and ear startling poems that are in this book are packed with ideas that have true depth beneath the amazing surface.
In this book of poems, Duhamel has a compassionate vision that thoroughly gives the prospect of the woman in difficult and stressful emotional situations.
These poems show entertainment about women that can be enjoyed, rather than hated because it shows a biased point of view about women. Though, that characteristic is rare, it is achieved in each line of every poem in this book.
The Table of Contents of Smile! also is a point of interest to the reader. It is fun to read, and has a humor of its own. Smiles and laughter fills the readers mind throughout this book, but as the book of poems end, tears of cheer will fill the readers mind because of the well polished surface of her poems.
Girl soldier was published in 1996. Though it was not one of Duhamel’s best books, the poems in it still gave a meaning that related to women.
Girl Soldier cont.
The following quote is from the poem, Language Police Report; “The busybody (banned as sexist, demeaning to older women) who lives next door called my daughter a tomboy (banned as sexist) when she climbed the jungle (banned; replaced with "rain forest") gym. Then she had the nerve to call her an egghead and a bookworm (both banned as offensive; replaced with "intellectual") because she read fairy (banned because suggests homosexuality; replace with "elf") tales.” She creates for the reader how from a child, the female is always being judged by others. And to challenge the mind she also includes how society judges in general, and then compares the meaning of the judgments to how the little girl in the poem is being judged.
Girl Soldier cont.
In this book Duhamel played with words to find the right sketch to write each the poem. For example, In one poem she writes “two days ago I sent off what I owed to the IRS, writing "No bombs. We need AIDS research!" on the memo line,” while in another stating that for a cow frog “desire itself is shameful.”
Her topics vary, as well as the tone she speaks in. But the sense of the actions of a woman is always there. The variation of her topics brings an unexpected twist to each poem that keeps her audience wanting to read more.
Kinky poses a social critique of a woman society through the small, plastic world of Barbie. It describes how women have a love/hate relationship with the model view of a perfect women portrayed by the infamous fashion doll.
This book Barbie takes the place of a woman and withholds attempts to find the tinny voice throughout this collection of heart wrenching poems. The unattainable beauty ideal that Barbie represents, describes how difficult it is for women to live up to the standards given to them by society, through a female plastic figure.
Duhamel has taken the Barbie doll phenomenon, and used it to her advantage to use in literary work that will attract readers of all ages. All the poems have to do with the "what if” of Barbie attempting to fit into the real world. For example, what if Barbie were in therapy? This question poses attention to the fact that some women encounter enough problems to force them to talk with professionals about issues. This book is a sexy blend obsessive and hilarious writing. Duhamel, concentrates on the theme Barbie, and pulls not only literature, but a series of other forms of expression such as astrology, and religion.
Duhamel's recent collection of poetry is Queen for a Day. This book has selected poems from previous books and new poems. Critics have said it was "somewhere between Sex and the City, Sharon Olds and Spalding Gray."
Duhamel’s book Queen for a Day has poems about body parts and coming of age dramas. It is a book of poems based on lively, bold, and honest, interpretations of the female race. this retrospective of women is by far her most realistic and exciting collection yet.
Throughout the book, each poem engages the reader to feel a personal connection with every poem. She uses a playful, inventive way of put together ideas In this new work, Duhamel poems talks about modern day issues a woman goes through. She goes more in dept about the challenges of societal expectations that girls and women encounter. She includes poems from the book Kinky where the fairytale woman, Barbie, is in a Twelve-Step Program, a Bisexual, and Barbie at a GYN appointment. Each situation has a poem that gives an idea of what it feel like to be a woman in each circumstance.
Denise Duhamel's poems are funny, original, and give a direct approach. Duhamel gives straightforward examples of what if feels like to be a woman, and the prospect held by women in certain situations.
Her approach can be labeled as bold and brave. Duhamel’s poetry is both relevant to the female’s culture and just plain fun to read.
Duhamel poetry is widely anthologized, and she is the winner of numerous awards, including a National Endowment of the Arts Fellowship. She writes extensively about sex and gender. She relates her books to the female culture and references it to early and current events.
From her realism in Smile!, and hard core wit in Girl Soldier, to the fairytale, yet funny, sexy attitude she creates for women in Kinky, and mixture of the ideas of both old fashioned women and modern in her most recent work, Queen for a Day. Each of her books gives a realistic view, and puts the reader in a daze of imagery of the average woman. Her poetry has substance and deep meaning, and that is the quality we need in poetry today.
Works Cited Denise Duhamel 1997 - 2010 by Academy of American Poets April 16, 2010 <www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/33> Derek Alger, Denise Duhamel interviewed by, Pif Magazine(University of Pittsburgh Press, 2005) <April 28,2010 <www.pifmagazine.com/2005/09/denise-duhamel/> Queen for a Day 2007, University of Pittsburgh Press. May 2, 2010 <www.upress.pitt.edu/BookDetails.aspx?bookId=35321> Smile!, Denise Duhamel First American Edition, 1993 Printed in the United States. May 5, 2010 <capa.conncoll.edu/duhamel.smile.html> Suss: another literary journal Denise Duhamel Work by Denise DuhamelSeptember 2009. May 3,2010 <sussitout.org/tag/denise-duhamel>