Award Date

5-1-2014

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing

Department

English

First Committee Member

Donald Revell

Second Committee Member

Claudia Keelan

Third Committee Member

Maile Chapman

Fourth Committee Member

Margot Mink Colbert

Number of Pages

92

Abstract

All is Ripe for Fire is a two-part lyrical meditation that captures the world of the unnamed speaker who is visited by the image of a woman, such as the one who appears in the very first poem, "The Unnamed," which begins with an invitation to reader: "Let us look at the French woman's hand touching the flame to her sleeve." However, no sooner is the reader's attention drawn to the woman's hand, the flame, and then to her sleeve, than the image of the woman is gone entirely. In a matter of a few words, the figure of the woman is "going / her hands her head" and yet, despite her apparent annihilation in the very first poem, the unnamed figures persists. We see her throwing her head back, raising her legs, in the very next poem. Even when she is absent, unmentioned, she remains a strong presence in the collection. Unlike other recurring figures in these poems, namely, the mother, future love, America, Jesus, a good father, the old men, my pancreas, my girlfriend, my one true friend, who arouse doubt and insecurity, the unnamed performs as a paradoxical figure of vulnerability and security. She is living space; she is the house we do not enter. She is, like the poems in this collection, ripe for fire, dangerous, threatening,, burning with passion, too alive for life, a spirit yearning to be released.

Keywords

American literature; Poetry

Disciplines

Arts and Humanities | Creative Writing | Poetry

Language

English


Included in

Poetry Commons

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