Writing Home Beyond Domesticity: Elizabeth Bishop and Mascha Kaléko
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Susan Elizabeth Sweeney
My thesis Writing Home Beyond Domesticity: Elizabeth Bishop and Mascha Kaléko focuses on comparing how both the American poet Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979) and the Berlin poet Mascha Kaléko (1907-1975) express home as a physical and an abstract concept. Historically and culturally contextualizing their unconventional lives—marked by loss, displacement, and homesickness—exacerbates their uneasy relationship with home. Struggling to find a place of belonging, these women turned to poetry to preserve the most important aspects of their lives, including physical structures once identified as home as well as intimate relationships. Analyzing their works reveals how their perception of home derives from experiences outside of the domestic sphere. In turn, poetry functions as a substitute home for Bishop and Kaléko because it provides these writers with the necessary structure and distance to effectively cope with their losses.
Knippler, Katie, "Writing Home Beyond Domesticity: Elizabeth Bishop and Mascha Kaléko" (2022). College Honors Program. 40.