n Gender Questions - New myths, new scripts : revisionist mythopoesis in contemporary South African women's poetry




Considerable theoretical and critical work has been done on the way British and American women poets re-vision (Rich 1976) male-centred myth. Some South African women poets have also used similar strategies. My article identifies a gap in the academy's reading of a significant, but somewhat neglected, body of poetry and begins to address this lack of scholarship. I argue that South African women poets use their art to re-vision some of the central constructs of patriarchal mythology, including the association of women with the body and the irrational, and men with the mind and logic. These poems function on two levels: They demonstrate that the constructs they subvert are artificial; and they create new and empowering narratives for women in order to contribute to the reimagining of gender relations.


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