Award Date

5-1-2012

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Department

English

First Committee Member

Donald Revell

Second Committee Member

Claudia Keelan

Third Committee Member

Richard Wiley

Fourth Committee Member

Michelle Tusan

Number of Pages

80

Abstract

The poems in this manuscript, A Turkish Dictionary, probe a number of related issues: What is the relationship between a word and its object? What is the connection between meaning in two different languages? How do we live in a city overwhelmed with history? What is necessary? How do we accept knowing that we cannot know? These and other questions constitute the investigative purpose of the manuscript as specifically and actively an exploration of the questions rather than an argument for a final, singular answer. Structurally, the manuscript uses two poetic forms: dictionary poems and prosaic poems. The dictionary poems are titled with a Turkish word and its English translation(s). These poems are arranged alphabetically based on the Turkish word and distributed throughout the manuscript. These poems interrupt the prosaic poems, which convey a flâneur-like experience of the city of Istanbul, combining history, quotation, experience, and collage. The manuscript is split into three sections: "&language," "&history," and "&faith," which progress from an investigation of Turkish language reform to an exploration of the history of Istanbul and Turkey and finally to a meditation on life, death, and the place of faith in our lives.

Keywords

Poetry

Disciplines

Creative Writing | Fine Arts | Poetry

Language

English


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