‘Beyond Words’: Stevie Smith as a Visual Artist

William May

in Stevie Smith and Authorship

Published in print August 2010 | ISBN: 9780199583379
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191723193 | DOI:

Series: Oxford English Monographs

‘Beyond Words’: Stevie Smith as a Visual Artist

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This chapter considers the importance of art and visual culture in Smith's work. It notes the contested role of Smith's illustrations in her critical reception, considers her representations of galleries in the early essays ‘Art’ (1937) and ‘Private Views’ (1938), and details ecphrastic depictions of paintings in her poetry. It considers Smith's illustrations with reference to the artists George Grosz, Aubrey Beardsley, and Goya, notes her ambivalent relationship to these visual sources, and reveals her practice of illustrating her poems only to provide deliberately disjunctive sketches when the time came for their publication.

Keywords: illustrations; image and text; visual poetry; parody; ecphrasis

Chapter.  11021 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets)

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