An Exploration of Female Desires through the Personae of the Poet Ai

“How free is a woman?” To be a woman is to be in conflict with one’s own desires, as well as society’s desires to put woman neatly away in her place. In contemporary poetry and literature, female desire is often viewed simultaneously as a force of mysterious power and as a source of evil and corruption. A woman’s desires and her identity are linked. This is her sense of self. The self in Ai’s personae is often broken, but is always present, dictating the direction in which her characters take.