Eleanor Walsh


This thesis is comprised of a collation of women’s poetry from Nepal and its contextualising material, and a creative element which is poetry of my own responding to that work. The critical introduction argues that contemporary women’s poetry expresses female experiences and exposes a movement in women’s rights in Nepal that has previously gone unrecognised. The analysis demonstrates how women’s poetry has been used to form new communities, both literary and political, and is a summons to social action, as it recognises the marginalisation of women in literature that has historically been overwhelmingly ignored. In a country where female characters have been either omitted from literature or presented as uneducated, domestic and passive, contemporary work by women offers a literary counterpoise, in which balance is redressed. As a contribution to feminist rhetoric as well as poetry, the creative element of the thesis contains a collection of poems set in Nepal which respond to the traditions and tropes utilised in the poetry by Nepali women. Though they are written from my Western perspective, these poems acknowledge and explore the poetic devices used by some of these female Nepali writers, experimenting with characterisation, metaphor, structure and language in a way that is being popularised in Nepali poetry as it deviates from its traditional forms and becomes diversified.

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