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Accessorizing the BodyHabits of Being I$
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Cristina Giorcelli and Paula Rabinowitz

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780816675784

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816675784.001.0001

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Precious Objects

Precious Objects

Laura Riding, Her Tiara, And the Petrarchan Muse

(p.108) 7 Precious Objects
Accessorizing the Body

Becky Peterson

University of Minnesota Press

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.

Keywords:   American poets, women poets, Laura Riding, poetic subject-object structure, feminist, Petrarchan poetics, precious objects, female muse, jewelry, gold tiara

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