Suburban Sonnets: ‘Mrs Harwood’, Miriam Stone and Domestic Modernity


Discusses Gwen Harwood's approach to suburban life and domestic modernity, particularly in her satirical and pseudonymous poems. 'Despite her clear apprehension that, in the world's eyes, "housewife" and "poet" were incompatible terms, she wrote a small but significant group of poems on domestic themes where satire is only one element of her complex treatment of the plight of creative women imprisoned in social definitions of the housewife and mother. These poems are structured around violent contrasts between the woman's past aspirations and hopes for love and creativity, and the distractions and demands of her present life as the housebound mother of small children. Harwood indicates that she is well aware of buying into current discourse on suburbia by actually titling two of these poems "suburban sonnets".'

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Published 1 October 2007 in Volume 23 No. 2. Subjects: Domestic life, Female stereotypes, Gender roles, Literary hoaxes, Pseudonyms, Suburban life, Gwen Harwood.

Cite as: Sheridan, Susan. ‘Suburban Sonnets: ‘Mrs Harwood’, Miriam Stone and Domestic Modernity.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 23, no. 2, 2007, doi: 10.20314/als.3119ba5b50.