Reviews for Circe- Behind the Myth
metamodernmarx chapter 1 . 11/8/2015
For the RG Depth:

This poem of yours is very reminiscent of a Carol Ann Duffy piece. Its quick, sharp, and often clever stanzas have rhymes and ideas strategically situated throughout the poem, enhancing its intertextuality and rhizomatic nature. Your poem, from its title, seeks to deconstruct a 'myth', one that is patriarchal, containing any subversion on the side of feminine Circe. The persona clearly elucidates this transgression of gender norms by asserting her Self-voice ("I'm talking") and reminds me of the Medusa-persona in radical feminist Hélène Cixous' essay 'The Laugh of the Medusa'. Ironically, the persona, instead of adopting a pre-semiotic 'ecriture feminine' language, away from phallogocentric logic, is simply contained within the seemingly free and fluid structure of rhyme and rhythm.
In spite of this, the persona, while steering away from the deconstructivist approach, does resist the repressive patriarchal centre through her rejection of the privileging of her 'face' and 'body', and attempts to usurp this metaphysical centre via the knowledge of 'spells'. I particularly enjoyed the way you juxtaposed, anachronistically, two distinct time periods into what may be a complex Foucauldian thesis on the problematic nature of traditional metaphysical thought. The subtle setting of a (clichedly) Percy Jackson universe, together with a high-brow portrayal of Greek mythology, does lend an absurdist and non-conventional outlook to your work.
The viciousness of the feminist persona also seems to harbour on direct opposition towards a relatively innocuous group of men (Ulysses' "crew"), and does problematize the politics of radical and violent feminism. Instead of a more stable hegemonic relationship, Circe the persona is shown to desire (and perhaps romanticize) her gender position as 'Other', and viciously destroys, using her rhetoric - in breaking the fourth wall and gazing at the Reader - the traditional humanist, albeit ideologically simplistic, approach towards legends, myths, and 'truth'. It's remarkable how you parodied an epic into a much-shortened poem of wit and politics.
Overall, I found your poem to be an informative and generally allusive (towards mythology) piece that does in fact - at some point - highlights the pessimism of the subversion-containment model of (patriarchal) power, and seeks to actively 'break her silence' within the male-dominated society. It was very clever of you to channel gynocentrism through the mythical character of Circe, whom can be said to represent the outdated and simplistic ontology of the ancient period, one that your poem valiantly seeks to deconstruct. Keep it up! :)

P.S. I wasn't doing much of a close reading, as that pertains more to Practical Criticism, which in fact is quite humanistic. Nor was I looking out for literary details, themes, characterization, and the like, as those were, too, very metaphysically linked and privileged a 'centre' of meaning. Mine was way more political and post-structuralist! :D