I was fortunate enough to be asked to do a presentation at the Sitwell Society's AGM last night (http://sitwellsociety.com/). I was talking about some of Edith Sitwell's poetry and also introducing my own work Words in My Head.
Reading Edith's poems I was struck again by the question, why did I study TS Elliot at A Level and not Edith Sitwell? And I keep coming back to the answer, because she's a woman and she didn't marry Ted Hughes. In current times, yes, female poets are entering the canon. But go back a little way and you have to be Sylvia Plath to be remembered.
Edith packed auditoriums on her trip to the US in the 1950s, her 75th birthday filled the Royal Festival Hall, her prose work was optioned by Hollywood where she consorted with movie stars such as Marilyn Monroe. What contemporary poet - male or female - can say that?