Not since Sappho: the erotic in poems of Katherine Philips and Aphra Behn.

  • A Stiebel
  • Published 1992 in Journal of homosexuality


The presentation of sexuality in poetry may be masked by the use of conventional literary devices that obscure as well as reveal the poems' erotic content. Traditional readings of Katherine Philips' and Aphra Behn's poetry have ignored or denied the lesbian aspects of their verse by dismissing them as asexual representations of well-known literary conventions. This paper argues for a recognition of the ways in which these poetic conventions present a complex and sophisticated lesbian sexuality and also comment on other taboo aspects of human sexual relations.


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