Date of Award

4-28-2008

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

Abstract

I am attempting several different things in this collection of poems. First, for some of the poems, I have used photos as visual prompts. These poems employ emphasis; using poetry to comment on photographs I took with my Motorola Razor cell phone to capture sights of Kodak Park. Additionally, I have included "edge/bound" poems, which refers to a poetic form I invented in August 2006. The form of these poems is dictated by a strict constraint: the last letter of the first word, and each subsequent word, must be the same as the first letter of the next word. The collection of poems explores the idea of the downwinder, a word often used to describe an individual affected by radioactive or nuclear fallout. However, I have extended the definition to include other types of environmental hazards and have considered, in the poems, how downwinders often deal with issues of class. In creating a body of poetry, I have also had to consider my own bodily boundaries; living in a little room with low ceilings, being home-bound at night with a child as a single mother. In order to deal with such physical constraints, I have had to "move" through poetry. The poetry becomes a form of disclosure: it works within the constraints with which the body is faced and explodes restraint, even as the body is restrained.

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Poetry Commons

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