In honor of Poetry Month, JStor has “pulled together [their] best stories about poetry with free links to poems from contemporary and classic American poets.” Here’s one comparing criticism of Taylor Swift’s work to that of Confessional Poets like Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton, as their work is usually considered to be autobiographical:
TAYLOR SWIFT: 1989’S CONFESSIONAL POET – Rachel Greenhaus – JStor Daily – 9/15/15
“There seems to be a double-edged sword wielded in the response to these female artists: They are required to be both completely honest and open, giving freely of themselves and their emotions, and also to be more than just faithful diarists of their individual lives. We fault them for their lack of transparency or their artistic license with the material we assume to be ‘true’ and for the perceived pettiness of their subjects. We, via BuzzFeed and Billboard and Us Weekly, construct the narrative of what ‘Bad Blood’ is about (just as Plath and Sexton’s readers have done for decades using journals, letters, and other ‘nonfiction’ sources) just so we can roll our eyes and declare that, well, it all seems a little overdramatic and, I mean, it’s hard to enjoy a really good jam when all you can think about is how Taylor turned her poor hurt feelings into an epic three-and-a-half-minute, chart-topping bitch slap (not to mention the video, which is bonkers enough to be the basis for whole graduate theses).
“We trivialize artistic creativity by focusing on the autobiographical….”