February 1, 2019

How can young women navigate feminine identities within their conceptions of self?

Grace van der Wielen, 21

The poem explores the psychological relationship between received feminine identities and the internal self. This question is important because it focuses on the act of subversion of these received ideas of femininity, specifically in the identity-forming process of young women. The poem is concerned with the dangers of not coming face-to-face with internalised cultural discourses on femininity, which have the potential to corrupt the formation of identity so that a sense of self is continuously unstable at some deep-seated level. The poem explores these ideas through the figure of the goddess Diana (a hunter), and through symbols of decay, rest, rebirth, and reflection. Ultimately, the poem urges a reflection upon the ‘skins’ of womanhood and identity, and which should be destroyed or preserved.

1947

Diana’s Grove