Walter Sutton: On "Portrait d'une Femme"

The blank verse "Portrait d'une Femme," a Browningesque yet modern vignette, depicts the emptiness and sterility of the life of a cultured woman, surrounded by an exotic assortment of objects of art: "Your mind and you are our Sargasso Sea, / London has swept about you this score years / And bright ships left you this or that in fee. . . ." Despite her acquisitions, often the "fee" of casual alliances with cultured lovers, the lady is without a sense of identity or fulfillment: "No! there is nothing! In the whole and all, / Nothing that's quite your own. / Yet this is you." This subject and theme, anticipatory of Eliot's hollow men and women.

 

From American Free Verse: The Modern Revolution in Poetry. Copyright © 1973 by Walter Sutton.

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Criticism Overview
Title Walter Sutton: On "Portrait d'une Femme" Type of Content Criticism
Criticism Author Walter Sutton Criticism Target Ezra Pound
Criticism Type Poet Originally Posted 05 Oct 2015
Publication Status Excerpted Criticism Publication American Free Verse: The Modern Revolution in Poetry
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