Date of Award

Spring 5-2008

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

English

Committee Chair

Dr. Angela Ball

Committee Chair Department

English

Committee Member 2

Dr. Julia Johnson

Committee Member 2 Department

English

Committee Member 3

Steven Barthelme

Committee Member 3 Department

English

Committee Member 4

Dr. Ellen Weinauer

Committee Member 4 Department

English

Committee Member 5

Dr. Kenneth Watson

Committee Member 5 Department

English

Abstract

My collection of poems and essays, We Become Delicate Boats, takes inspiration from a broad range of sources that shift into each other: paintings, pop culture, literary figures, dreams, relationships, faith, family, history. For example, some poems throw together unexpected bedfellows, like Kafka's Gregor Samsa and Marie Antoinette; others are anecdotal, like one that describes going on a blind date with a man who actually turns out to be blind, some re-imagine stories we already know, like one in the voice of Medusa, talking about which occasions call for her various snake "wigs." Although quite a few pieces are playful, an underlying theme emerges: a simultaneous obsession and deep disturbance with frailty, with disfigurement. Through the poems and essays, I try to articulate that frailty, and find an attendant humor and beauty.

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