Iris, read and written: A new poetics of Robin Hyde
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
This thesis is a textual analysis of Robin Hyde's poetics, drawn from her published and unpublished poetry, excluding the poetry manuscripts after 1938 which remain in the private Challis Collection, and with reference to her prose writings, particularly her final published volume Dragon Rampant, and her correspondence. It commences with an extended analysis of the Robin Hyde critical tradition, considering the relationships between the various orientations of the tradition, their strengths and limitations. My second chapter is concerned with the ways in which Hyde adopts the position of the heretic to question, in her early and middle poetry, the experiences of the gendered subject within the western Christian tradition. In Chapter 3, I analyse the ways in which Malory's Le Morte Darthur is an important text for Hyde: how it provides her with a means of accounting for her early experiences and gives rise to a complex presentation of her emotional life during her residence at the Lodge of the Auckland Mental Hospital at Avondale. In Chapter 4, I posit the influence on Hyde's poetics of Arthur Waley's translations from the Chinese as an alternative to readings which favour the idea of a conceptual and stylistic break in Hyde's later poetic subjectivity, and in the final chapter I am concerned with the consolidation and culmination of Hyde's poetics in her prose and verse writings from China.