The Chiasmic Gaze in Warsan Shire’s Poem, “Backwards”

A. Smiruthi *

The Research Centre of English, Fatima College, Affiliated to Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India.

S. J. Kala

The Research Centre of English, Fatima College, Affiliated to Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Abstract

The contemporary world has become an inclusive place that accommodates people from diverse backgrounds owing to the sensitising literary contributions. In accordance, the African writers employ the platform of literature to throw light on the ongoing struggles faced by their community. Warsan Shire is one such revolutionary poet who brings to the forefront the unheard voices of the African immigrant women through her cogent poetic narrative. The paper aims to scrutinise her poem “Backwards” through the chiasmic gaze propagated by Maurice Merleau-Ponty. Highlighting the features of reversibility, invisibility and reciprocity of the chiasmic gaze, the paper underscores that the poem stands as a healing call for immigrant black women and girls.

Keywords: Chiasmic gaze, Warsan Shire, reversibility, invisibility, reciprocity


How to Cite

Smiruthi , A., and S. J. Kala. 2023. “The Chiasmic Gaze in Warsan Shire’s Poem, ‘Backwards’”. Asian Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies 6 (3):148-55. https://journalajl2c.com/index.php/AJL2C/article/view/137.

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