Riscrittura femminile del mito nella poesia di Wisława Szymborska


Within the work of Wisława Szymborska the poems inspired by myth (classical and biblical) are a small part, yet they are particularly significant if one looks at them through the perspective of deconstruction and subsequent reconstruction. In particular, we can observe the author’s tendency to re-read, and then re-write, the myth from a female point of view. From the earliest collections Szymborska deals with the Greek myth, linked in particular to Troy, to throw a different light on it: Cassandra is not only the seer who is destined to be constantly pushed away and feared, but she also represents the possibility of an affirmation of diversity (as a seer, and as a woman) as she becomes aware of the importance of her own function. In the poem entitled A Paleolithic fertility fetish, the author refers to the statue of the Venus by Willendorf to evoke the era of the Great Mother and observe how the effects of her presence, fortunately, are still accessible to the human beings. More deeply, the reference is directed towards a time when the main goddess was at the center of a peaceful system based on the natural cyclicality of things. The biblical myth of Lot’s wife is also revisited through a distinctly feminine perspective. Lot’s wife, in Szymborska’s imagination, after investigating its multiple causes, turns to Sodom as an extreme gesture of rebellion. In one of her most recent texts, the author (through the lyric subject) finally dialogues with Atropos, who on the one hand highlights her devotion to the “work” of reaping human lives, but on the other expresses her own regret for the system where he is a victim of displacement of the divine hierarchies towards the masculine gender.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i22390359v37p143

Keywords: Wisława Szymborska; myth; female reading; gender; interpretation; Cassandra; Lot; Lot’s wife; Mother Goddess; Atropos


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