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date: 05 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Poets such as Alexander Pennicuik, John Tracy, Charles Hopkins, and Thomas Otway revived (and enlarged) the Petrarchan blazon within the contexts of empiricism and the theory of the feminized male gaze. The convention of the blazon was well suited to the climate of corpuscular intromittism; with science’s help, poetic speakers/gazers obscured their own agency, claiming helplessness in the faces of seen women. Jonathan Swift’s dressing-room poems self-reflexively and paradoxically target those gazers. Taking aim at “the poet as man of feeling,” Swift’s satirical counter-blazons expose the prurient motivations that inform the aesthetics of supposed female culpability his own speakers construct.

Keywords: poetry, sentiment, sensibility, blazon, satire, women, gender

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