The goals of my Senior French Thesis is to demonstrate how poetry is used as healing, focusing on the poetry of female poets in France. Poets chosen range from the 1800s to today. This thesis aims to highlight female voices often silenced by mainstream publication. Further, I chose poets of diverse backgrounds, all of whom live in France but who may come from different countries or ethnicities. In this way, in addition to highlighting white female voices, I tried to highlight all female voices. The project itself is broken up into three themes. Theme 1 explores how female poets used their work to highlight stories of trauma that have been historically silenced. These stories include the experience of females in a concentration camp during the Shoah, a female’s experience of rape, and a woman’s experience with racism. The second part is Theme 2: love. This part shows how women use poetry to explore different parts of relationships. Poetry helps them explore their sexual desires, sexuality, and end-of-love grieving process. The last part is Theme 3: nature. These poets use nature to help them portray messages of safety, estrangement, and comfort. This project is a combination of research and creativity, as after every poet and poem I analyze, I write my own poem in French in their style or theme, aiding in my own exploration of self and healing. Poetry as healing was my effort to give space to female voices and provide myself with an outlet for personal creativity.
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