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Blackberrying Historical Context

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1960s

Plath wrote "Blackberrying" in the autumn of 1961, while living in Devon, England. The year before, she had published her first volume of poetry, The Colossus, which was generally well received, but not as favorably as her husband's, Ted Hughes's, second volume of verse, Lupecal, also published in 1960. In poetry, the late 1950s and early 1960s saw poets such as Robert Lowell, Theodore Roethke, John Berryman, Anne Sexton, and others popularize what came to be known as confessional poetry. Writers of confessional poetry detail intimate facts about their experience, often addressing previously taboo subjects such as sexual practices, drug use, or the status of their mental health. In 1959, Lowell published Life Studies, inaugurating the boom in confessional verse. While living in Massachusetts in the mid-1950s and teaching at Smith College, Plath audited a poetry workshop led by Lowell. Sexton also attended this workshop, and she and Plath...

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This section contains 510 words
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Buy the Blackberrying Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
Blackberrying from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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