The Description of Cook-ham Lanterns Description of Cooke-ham is the first known printed poem identified as the country house poem, predating the publication of Ben Jackson’s “To Pinehurst’. It was addressed to Margaret Clifford, Countess of Cumberland, as a bid for patronage. It describes an idyllic summer Leaner once spent with Clifford on the estate at Comma where Leaner composed poetry to please her patron and the countess’s daughter Anne.
Manipulating pastoral conventions, Leaner actually challenges the masculine values Of the country house genre, emblematic Of the lord’s influence and Of noncreative claims of land control by depicting an denned locus anemones where three women live symbiotically without males . Indeed in Cook-ham she praises in panegyric terms her patron and her rightful claim to the land. But by reappointing pastoral conventions into a new mold – that of the country house poem- Leaner also justifies female authorship and creativity at a time where women were barely given the possibility to write at all.
So typically Leaner seems to establish a tradition and yet she simultaneously subverts it. What is clever about Leaner is the fact she uses convention : she rites a very conventional poem to convey unconventional ideas about women. Thus we’ll discuss to what extent we can portray Leaner as a protectionist writer : first by creating a representational and poetic female refuge from male-dominated world and discourse and then by questioning gender roles and male dominance through authorship. . The Cooke-ham garden : both the depiction of a matriarchal tartaric society and an denned garden where women are empowered and redeemed.
Lancer’s poem aims at creating a symbolic space for women : that of the garden of Cooke-ham where Leaner and two other women can find immunity with one another. In fact, with the use of garden imagery, Leaner erects a feminine space within literature where women can be freed of male dominance. What is interesting here is the fact that the garden that is supposed to be the domain of the male becomes open for women’s creativity and self- assertion both as a physical place and a literary device. Indeed the Cooke-ham description that Leaner makes is not actually the description of a house even though there are references to it twice in the poem.
It is not a description of the typical home of an aristocratic family run y patriarchal values like you can find in Jackson’s poem. Here Leaner focuses on the vanity of the house, hence the use of the isotopic of nature and various references to open space. “The hills” 35 , the swelling banks” 43 , ” the woods” 40 What is rather transgressing is the fact that women here are associated with the outside when traditionally they are defined by the indoor and private sphere. Which means they are not confined anymore to the cells of their houses.
In this symbolic world that Leaner creates thanks to poetry, women can enjoy full mobility, that is not limited by patriarchal rule. This is to be seen through the use of verbs of movement such as ” Walks” L 21, “Let me come unto that stately tree”, 53 ” you walk,81 “you mount”. 85 The garden of Cooke-ham is actually a symbolic and spatial emancipation of women performed through the medium of art. A) Lancer’s matriarchal society What Leaner depicts here is a small tartaric martially society that is quite reminiscent of the Amazon’s tribe.
They actually live actually on their own : ‘ladies’, the queen of the Amazon being the countess referred as “the mistress of this place. “11 The garden of Cooke-ham is actually a locus anemones that offers the usability for women to live as a community with one another and to become empowered : through education ” Where many a learned book was read and scanned” which was a privileged for a few number of scholarly women and writing: ” the muses gave their full consent, “3 : women were allowed to write with no opposition whereas at the time writing was regarded as a male prerogative . >Moreover one can note the use of a belligerent lexicon to refer as men : Defended Phoebes when he would assail” 64 : the intrusion of men metaphorically refereed as the presence of Phoebes, god of the sun into that Minnie space is perceived as a threat. The oak’s shade protects the ladies against the assault of the sun. So women are removed from the male’s world with which they are at war.
Besides marriage ( ” Dorset now espoused”), 95th intermingling of male and female is seen as some kind of “fall”. Symbolically rendered by a downward movement corroborated by phrases such as ” lowest”, 110 ” cast down” , ” so low” 104 + act of subjection ” use of passive form ” many are placed” 108 + severing of the community bond ” we cannot daily see”. 105 The notion of fall is very important here as Cooke-ham is also depicted as an denied garden where the redemption of women is made possible.
B) Cooke-ham, an denned garden and Lancer’s plea for women’s redemption Indeed Leaner in the first part of the text plunges us into a preliminary world where our 3 Eves remain unfasten, untouched by sin. => this is conveyed by the the key word at the start of the poem is which ‘grace’. Grace is every. Veer. The word appears 10 times in the poem. As soon as the second verse : “Grace from that grace where perfect grace remained” with the use of a triplet which can be reminiscent of the holy trinity.
Besides place rhymes with grace. So Cooke-ham is basically of an denned garden : * The poem itself reflects this mingling of earthly and heavenly world ” celestial pleasures” 15 //earthly treasures. * This estate is also inhabited by biblical beings: as the Countess climbs uphill to see the vista of English counties, she simultaneously ‘With Mosses’ mounts ‘his holy Hill, / To know his pleasure, and performer his Will’ References to the Christ, to David, to Joseph. The place is endowed with God’s presence which appear to everyone ; “Of their Creators power, which there you saw 77 In all his creatures held a reflect law;And in their beauties did you plain descry His beauty, wisdom, grace, love, majesty” By recreating an denned garden, Leaner aims at contesting the unfair subjection of women on earth and to redeem them by debunking Eve’s fault (hence the 6 occurrences of the word virtue, virtuous). What is at the core Of the poem is the radical retelling Of the fall episode by Leaner.
Indeed at the centre of the state as Leaner repeatedly tells the reader is the “oak” ALL * this tree is both reminiscent of the parallel biblical world in which cedars of Lebanon abound ( Much like a comely Cedar straight ND Tall 132) and of a Palm Tree which would mean ‘fairer tree’ is the cross on which redemption was won by the outstretched arms of Christ. And =>Leaner actually underlines the fact that this is the exact spot where the countess would lead her apostle to dead and discuss ‘holy Writ”84 so actually thee fruit of the tree in Lancer’s reinterpretation is shown to be good.
Women shouldn’t be considered as inferior to men and should be educated. C) Lancer’s failure and the denunciation of male’s exclusive right to ownership Yet one must not neglect the fact that this is an elegiac poem and that energy ends on a sorrow note. The various instances of pathetic fallacy appear to be more than just a way of accounting for the onset of winter, but refers to Lancer’s personal grief and sadness. Depiction of a withering nature ; ” The flowers Crept in the ground, the grass did weep for woe. 180В» Isotopic of sadness : dismay, mournful sorrow = reification of nature. Due to the countess departure. « Of your depart, their very leaves did wither, В« 194″ The main reason for it is because Lancer’s attempt to emancipate women fails. Indeed her representational space remains dependent on male’s will and dominance : Her sorrow, inspired by her exclusion from a new Eden on the grounds of class as well as, indirectly, gender. For this new exile from paradise is not only caused by her own lack of status -? => her residence at Cooke-ham was dependent on the presence fifth Countess of Cumberland and her daughter Anne Clifford – = the result of the aristocratic women’s own exclusion from patriarchal society = because women can own a land.
Cooke-ham was not, after all, the Countess’s house, but only a temporary lodging. So at the end of the day, they are still the prisoners of men’s will. Kind of ineluctable confinement is rendered by the SE of schismatic parallelism : ” The house received all ornaments to grace it, 19 ” V . 18 or zither house cast off each garment that might grace it” 201 and the notion of rise and fall. ” Rise and fall” ” Rise” 37/”‘ descend” 35 But if Lancer’s utopia collapsed in front of the principle of male’s reality , the power of her poetry shall not be overlooked as it questions the traditional gender obituaries of the Elizabethan society II.
Male dominance to the test of female authorship A) Women as a subject of beauty : the questioning of women’s objectivity What is also worth analyzing in Lancer’s depiction of the Cooke-ham garden s the fact that in the representational world she erects, women are the source of creativity. Countess eyes are brighter than the sun “To shade the bright sun from your brighter eyes;” 26 Which means that the countess is more appealing that the symbol of masculinity which traditionally shed light and animates things. Ere nature’s shift originates from women. Trees with leaves, with fruits, with flowers clad, Embraced each other, Turning themselves to beauteous Canopies, To shade the bright sun from your brighter eyes; Actually the presence of the Countess inspires a creative activity described here as a female act of creation . The swelling banks delivered all their pride When such a Phoenix once they had espied. “44 ” The Swelling banks that deliver” suggest the idea of pregnancy and birth imagery issuing from the body of women.
In fact the locus anemones derives from the communal and mutual relationship between elements of nature and the women who live there. So there is in fact a natural reproductive authority of women in that world. Women are both the source of creativity and the creator. This conception is quite transgressing because women at the time were often associated with an object of beauty. They were a being-perceived. They were fined and celebrated through the medium of male’s eyes and artistic looking. But here in that garden, women become a subject of beauty. They are the deliverer of beauty.
And of course, there is a miss en abeam at play in this poem as Leaner as a poetess herself is the subject of beauty, she is a being-perceiver, she is the one who creates out of a blank page this denned world and who delivers an Object Of beauty, that Of the poem. So there is definitely a plea for women ‘s right to authorship, to creativity in a world where writing was seen as a male prerogative. B) Women’s authorship : The questioning of Men’s authority But what is even more fascinating with Leaner is the fact that she translates authorship into authority.
By means of her authorship, by means of the authority that she is endowed with as a writer, Leaner makes women the guarantor of authority in her Cooke-ham garden. She usurps through the process of writing authority over the man. She rejects the subordinate role of women. She refuses to be a being-perceived. She performs a kind of matriarchal coup d’tat or at least she offers the possibility to consider a society of women out of the indiscretions perspective. Women can live by themselves. They do not need en to watch after them. This is why I consider that Lancer’s work is very political.
Beneath poetic surface, the very act of writing is transgressing. Because you never write for yourself, you write in order to be read, to reach out for an audience. This poem is not only dedicated to her patron but it calls for the attention of her contemporaries. Writing means that you can publicly voice some ideas through the medium of art. Although your work can be very artistic, very focused on literary conventions such as poetry : here we’ve got one of the most conventional type of art: a countryside poem; writing here cannot educed to the celebration of beauty. , to the mere poetic description of Cooke-Ham.
This is actually a way to voice one opinion publicly to stand onto the public stage and exist politically speaking, as an author, as a woman in men’s world. This is very powerful move at a time when women had no say in public affairs, when you were required to be silent and accept their condition with all subjection. As said previously t to wield the pen was seen as a male prerogative But Leaner was not silent. She used her pen and her printing press to make her voice heard. Mandatory by essence is a voice. On the other hand it is also way to engrave a spot for women in Literature and History.
By resorting to poetry – which has long been used as the vector of memory and myth thanks to his mathematical aspect – Leaner addresses posterity in terms that were previously restricted to men. The idea of posterity is underlined with this verse ” his last farewell to Cooke-ham here I ague, When I am dead thy name in this may lieu 206 C) Lancer’s homoerotic transgressing use Of poetry Through the art of poetry and her authorship, Leaner transgresses other gender boundaries and take on another male prerogative which women’s sexual satisfaction.
Indeed this poem disclosed an ambiguous homoerotic relationship between annoyer and the countess. It can be read as some kind of re-writing of courtship poems with the countess being referred as ” the mistress of the place”, in position of social superiority “The Lady’, and Leaner being the poet that praises her beauty, her power. Lancer’s latent homoerotic love for the countess is of course rendered with the idea of kiss and Lancer’s envy for the tree that received it.
Besides throughout the poem we sense a will on the part of Leaner to establish an eroticism and idyllic relationship between the female writer that he is and the addressed reader Clifford and to give the countess sexual pleasure through the medium of poetry. In that sense, Lancer’s enterprise is reminiscent of Barter’s conception in El Polaris du text : according to which Literature is roughly a way of coming by means of words” “El text queue Voss crevice dot me donned la pursue quail me dsire. Cite pursue exists : chest l’creature.
L’creature est. ice : Ia science des continuances du language” Here the notion of pleasure is everywhere ” pleasure”,(8) “joys” , “delight”9 ” joyful”, ” recreations”, “sweet” 1 1 in fact Clifford can experience the licensable sensation that the garden ministers to her desires because Leaner has infused this world, through the device of the pathetic fallacy, with her own capacity for feeling = meaningful rhyme ” delight’/ ” sight” 74 shows that the delightful sight of the countess that gives Leaner pleasure is sublimated and transmuted in the process of writing into an act of masturbation.
Here Leaner uses her pen as a penis to stimulate the senses of the countess. This is to be seen through the organic presence of the author’s voice : a kind of acoustic sensuality use of alliterations “did weep for woe. ” 80/He Winded and Water “,181 references to the birds singing “The little Birds in chirping notes did sing 29 reference to the pleasing “sound” pleasing sound Y, 41 So basically Leaner is being transgressing here because she uses her pen as a penis.
She is capable of pleasuring the countess by occupying the role of poet-lover that is normally reserved only for those with male bodies. But while literature at the time naturalized men’s poetic vocation by analyzing pen and penis, Leaner here uses the poem as a dildo. As such she appears to embody the figure of the traded, ” a woman who sexually penetrates other omen using her enlarged clitoris or a dildo or how the patriarchal discourse would put it a woman who usurped male sexual and gender roles.
We can actually see an actual image of penetration in poem , when Cliff- ford allows the features of the landscape-?and most saliently the oak tree to enter her mind by “placing their former pleasures in [her] heart” to “pre- serve their love. So the oak is actually described as a kind of masturbatory source of delight. 156 => What is alluring is that the reader with an empathetic identification can also experience the literary climax, the sexual pleasure reduced by Lancer’s poetry.