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posted on 2021-02-26, 00:00 authored by Maria Takolander
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History

Source

What We Carry: Poetry on Childbearing

Pagination

72 - 73

Publisher

Recent Work Press

Place of publication

Canberra, A.C.T.

Language

eng

Research statement

POETRY, DEFAMILIARISATION AND CHILDBIRTH Research Background Pregnancy and childbirth have been emptied of their power and strangeness by the repetition of taboos around women’s bodies, the medicalisation and sterilisation of childbirth, and the banal sentimentality of consumer culture. Poetry about pregnancy and childbirth has also tended towards the expression of an affect of wonder that underplays embodiment in ways that are problematic for women’s identities. Research Contribution This two-page poem, inspired by own and my sister's experiences of pregnancy, embraces the remit of the Russian Formalists to deploy defamiliarization to overcome the automatism of perception and to see as candidly as possible. The procedure of defamiliarization resonates with the perspective of a child, a newcomer to the Earth, who is seen and who sees everything for the first time. Here, miscarriage is reclaimed as an experience of the culturally abjected female body. Research Significance The value of this poem is attested to by: its selection for this national anthology; and its previous publication in my highly acclaimed poetry collection Ghostly Subjects, which was published by Salt (UK) and short-listed for a Queensland Premier's Prize.

Publication classification

JO3 Original Creative Works – Textual Work

Editor/Contributor(s)

E Kurz, S King, C Delahunty

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