Remodelando propriedade inglesa como paraíso feminino : Aemilia Lanyer e o country-house poem “The Description of Cookham” (1610)

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Guimarães, Paula Alexandra (2011)
  • Publisher: Universidade do Minho. Centro de Estudos Humanísticos (CEHUM)
  • Subject: Geografia | Gender | Geography | Renascença | Paradise | Renaissance | Lanyer | Género | Poetry | Poesia | Paraíso

This article proposes to investigate an elegiac poem, “The Description of Cookham”, which Aemilia Lanyer (1569-1645) wrote and published in 1610-11 at the request of her patron Margaret Clifford, Countess of Cumberland – the first estate poem in English literary history and the first written by a woman. Property assumed a central role in the concepts of self and society, particularly as around the sixteenth century it began to be thought of in territorial and possessive terms. Lanyer’s poem, inserted in her proto-feminist work Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum, celebrates the existence and, at the same time, mourns the loss of a unique paradise – a feminocentric locus amoenus. The legal system of Patrilinear descent is overturned in the text by the creation of a separatist feminine community. Cookham metonymically represents not the political integrity or good stewardship of its owner, but the subjectivities of its female guests and chronicler. In manipulating features of Petrarchism, the pastoral and the country-house genre, Lanyer fashions herself as a nature poet by using material that traditionally had silenced women. Este artigo propõe-se investigar um poema elegíaco, “The Description of Cookham”, que Aemilia Lanyer (1569-1645) escreveu e publicou em 1610-11 a pedido da sua patrona Margaret Clifford, Condessa de Cumberland, constituindo o primeiro estate poem na história da literatura inglesa e o primeiro escrito por uma mulher. A propriedade assumiu um papel preponderante nos conceitos de sujeito e de sociedade, particularmente a partir do século XVI, altura em que se começou a pensar em termos territoriais e possessivos. O poema de Lanyer, inserido na sua obra proto-feminista Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum, celebra a existência e, ao mesmo tempo, lamenta a perda de um paraíso único – um locus amoenus feminocêntrico. O sistema patriarcal de herança é revertido neste texto através da criação de uma comunidade feminina separatista. Cookham representa metonimicamente não a integridade política ou a boa administração do seu dono, mas as subjectividades das suas convidadas e da sua cronista. Ao manipular aspectos do Petrarquismo, do pastoral e do género country-house, Lanyer apresenta-se como poeta da natureza, fazendo novo uso daquelas convenções que tradicionalmente serviram para silenciar as mulheres. Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT)
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