Coming Home: Lesbian Poetics and Homelessness
As a poet of the Irish diaspora, Cherry Smyth queers the environment of her construction (Northern Ireland) by examining the experiences and perceptions of her non-heteronormative orientation when she returns home from London. Smyth delves into memory, nostalgia, forgetting and remembering to articulate her search for a home. This can be read most vividly in her poem “Coming Home”. The visibility of lesbian poets has been historically displaced, silenced and eradicated by the patriarchal domination of lyric poetry, often leaving lesbian poets homeless in the tradition. Rather than ever arriving at home, Smyth is continually coming home and this coming is painful, shameful and erotic all at once and thereby makes a home out of being queer. These, and other issues, are discussed using an auto-theoretical queer approach.