He Said, She Said: Exploring Gendered Conversation in the Narrative Poetry of Robert Frost

Dr. Mary Krenitsky Perrone
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Robert Frost offers his readers a lesson in interpersonal communication through his narrative poetry. By capturing the conversation of a couple (man and woman) as they share commentary on a specific experience, it becomes evident that their voices are distinctly gendered. As each speaker develops his/her position within the poem, the reader is struck by the details allowed the male or the female speaker. These observations serve as a useful prompt to trigger class discussion on issues of gender. Furthermore, the ability of each speaker within the poem to truly communicate with the other is influenced by the degree of each character's sensitivity to and respect for the other's point of view.

Keywords: Gendered Conversation, Narrative Poetry
Stream: Anthropology, Archaeology, Cultural Studies and Humanities, Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Gender
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: He said, She said

Dr. Mary Krenitsky Perrone

Assistant Professor (tenured), Humanities
School of Arts & Sciences
Institute of Technology, State University of New York

Utica, New York, USA

Having completed my Master of Arts at the Bread Loaf School of English in Middlebury, Vermont, I have acquired a deep interest in the life and poetry of Robert Frost. For my doctoral work, I attempted to situate the poet Emily Dickinson within the larger context of mid-19th century America, specifically the people and politics dominating the years leading up to the Civil War. Professionally, I am a fulltime tenured faculty member serving in the Interdisciplinary Studies program, however I also deliver a number of Humanities courses (technical writing, speech, narrative film, theatre production, and Literature seminars) to our general population of professional studies and technology majors. Also, I am the campus coordinator for General Education with oversight of the implementation of the SUNY goals and standards into our courses and the assessment of student outcomes.

Ref: I06P0347