Laura Riding, Her Tiara, And the Petrarchan Muse
American poet Laura Riding collapses the entire poetic subject-object structure by depicting herself as both subject and object, poet and muse. Her position on subject-object relations extends from a revision of Petrarchan poetics toward a radical view of feminism and a highly individualized expression of her position as a woman artist. Throughout her career, Riding made significant use of literal and figurative “precious objects.” This chapter focuses on two types of precious objects: the elusive female muse (the inspiring, objectified figure in Western poetic tradition), and the presence of jewelry in Riding’s art and life, as represented in her poetry and in a gold tiara she owned and wore.
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