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poetry, misogyny, feminism


The Italian critic and scholar, Benedetto Croce (1866–1952) dismisses Gaspara Stampa's Rime (1553) thus:

She was a woman; And usually a woman, when she is not given to ape men, uses poetry and submits it to her affections because she loves her lover or her own children more than poetry. The lazy practice of women is revealed in their scanty theoretical and contemplative power.

For him, Stampa’s poetry is somehow inferior to her male counterpart’s poetry because it lacks “theoretical and contemplative power.” This essay will analyze aspects of Stampa’s poetry which disprove this claim.