This article analyzes Mina Loy’s and William Carlos Williams’s depictions of childbirth within the context of the Futurist movement and its approach to gender, sexuality, and the body. Parturient bodies are constantly either erased or hyper-corporealized in ways that pose problems for these poets’ aesthetics. This article argues that Williams’s constant, simultaneous fascination with, and disgust for, women’s bodies in labor—an anxiety that is a hallmark of his career—is a response to the technologically mediated and mechanical bodies at the center of Futurist aesthetics. Using Mina Loy, whose work critics often read as feminist interventions in Futurism, as a departure point for understanding Williams, this article argues that both Williams and Loy use birth as a focal point for understanding the limits of the body and the malleability of its physical boundaries within modernist poetics, effectively rejecting Futurism’s avant-garde embrace of the mechanical body.

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