Title

Analog God

Date of Award

Spring 5-11-2015

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

English

First Advisor

Dr. Leon Stokesbury

Second Advisor

Dr. Beth Gylys

Third Advisor

Dr. Randy Malamud

Abstract

My dissertation consists of fifty poems that create a narrative arc of a woman's life and beyond. The poems consider and reconsider a woman's place and displacement within the family unit, society, and religion, and focus on major events in a woman's life: childhood, marriage, motherhood, divorce, grand-motherhood, and the deaths of children, siblings, and parents. Many of the poems focus on representations of women in art--in particular, religious art. Several poems consider constructions of God inside religion and outside conventional religion, and explore ideas of the soul before and after death.

The majority of the poems are written in free verse, but I have included various other classic forms as well as nonce forms.

My poetry attempts to make sense of my experiences. Much of my past work concerns my son's death, and while I have a number of poems that reference that event in this book as well, the majority of the poems spring from situations I have experienced that I was not able to fully process when they were happening. While these events are particular to me personally (my parent's divorce and my divorces; my son's diagnosis, deteriorating illness, and death; my daughter's marriage and motherhood), I believe that grappling with the significance of these events in my life honestly and crafting art from them is an important endeavor, one that can have meaning and significance for readers.

My aesthetics have been influenced by Leon Stokesbury, Beth Gylys, and David Bottoms through working with me at GSU. Poets I have studied who have influenced my work include Amy Clampitt and Pattiann Rogers, because of their close observations of the natural world and unapologetically feminine perspective on that world. Pattiann Rogers combines natural science and metaphysics in her poetry to great effect and I pursue similar themes in my book.

My interest and curiosity about the world around me is the wellspring for my creative processes and investigating ideas about the world revealed in science and reflected in art helps me put my life’s experiences in a context I can respond to in my poetry.

Available for download on Sunday, April 19, 2099

Share

COinS