The ekphrastic paragone in Louise Bogan and Marianne Moore
Eusuf, Nausheen Naz
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Ekphrasis as a literary mode tends to foreground the charged relationship between word and image, verbal and visual. This antagonistic relationship has often been figured in gendered terms, by critics like W. J. T. Mitchell and James Heffernan, as a contest between the masculine word and the feminized image. This thesis focuses on the ekphrastic poetry of two women poets, Louise Bogan and Marianne Moore, and examines how they engage with and respond to the gendered ekphrastic paragone, or contest. I argue that Bogan identifies with the feminized image and discovers in the art work a mirror for the female self. Moore, on the other hand, identifies with the artist rather than the art object, and consciously resists taking sides within the paragonal frame.