Award Date

8-1-2012

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

Michael Pravica

Fourth Committee Member

Christopher Decker

Number of Pages

58

Abstract

My thesis is called "Wobble, Said the Hedgehog." However, there are also things in it that are neither hedgehogs nor wobbly. These include, but are not limited to, the body, kingship, Catholicism, cats, mice, betrayal between friends, jam, alcohol, badgers, love and the military. There is less actual discussion of sex than one might expect. For the purposes of describing my project as an assembled whole, however, this prospectus will attempt to transcend "badgers" as a summary. (This is not to say that "badgers" isn't a useful signifier. It should be referred to almost as often as "Catholicism.")

II. Image and Form

I attempt in this work the exploration of certain central ideas as brought about through the evolution of form. The images used in "Poems About Women and Apples" do not become more like themselves, but they are brought into the focus of a first-person speaker. In a bold move, the work is divided into three parts. The first consists of poems written in free verse, explicitly concerned with a female friendship; the second is a loose collection of sonnets which explore the power dynamic between a male figure and the emergingly distinct "I," and which blur the specificity of the previous "you;" and the third is a crown of sonnets unifying the upper and lower kingdoms of the thesis. As the work becomes more formal, so the images of the woman, the apple, the king, the hedgehog, et cetera, become more diffuse, so that this unification is inevitably also an explosion.

III. Problems and Solutions

The problem that this sequence of poems must most definitively overcome is the problem of boredom. Someone else's private landscape can be tedious to slog through. This is why dream-stories are dull. "Poems About Women and Apples" obviously represents a solid try at good writing, but it also attempts to entertain. The most obvious method is via a sustained narrative of sorts. Each poem can be considered a small story, often retelling sequences that have come before. Serious or grandiose moments are offset by puns or campy allusion. All in all, the construction of "Poems About Women and Apples" is a series of images, sounds and forms in service not just to the driving ideas of the work, but to its approachability as an art object.

Keywords

Apples; Poetry; Sonnets

Disciplines

Creative Writing | Poetry

Language

English


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