Date of Award

2003

Level of Access

Campus-Only Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

Advisor

Jennifer Moxley

Second Committee Member

Carla Billitteri

Third Committee Member

Steven Evans

Abstract

INDONESIAN POSTCARDS consists of a manuscript of poems, titled Indonesian Postcards, and a STATEMENT OF POETICS, titled To Begin A Poem. Indonesian Postcards is a series of poems written in or as a love address; To Begin A Poem engages the ways that acts of listening intersect with and depart from acts of writing. Influenced by the traditional sonnet sequence, the manuscript is comprised of "Postcards" and "Letters" as opposed to "Sonnets" and "Songs." As its title indicates, the sequence has an "International" component in that the addressee exists - not metaphorically but literally - in a foreign land. Another crucial aspect of this sequence is its efforts to engage the play of language withhn the love address. At times engaging certain poetic and mythological traditions, Indonesian Postcards attempts to "set the word against itself' as it explores the experience of both loving and being in love with a person who is not physically present. Indonesian Postcards is a sort of daily record, a testament, an exploration, a celebration, and an elucidation of the circumstance of "the swoon" and also of learning what it is to be "in" love. The second part of INDONESIAN POSTCARDS, To Begin A Poem, discusses the ways that acts of listening inform and shape acts of writing poetry. Integrating autobiographical fiction with theoretical constructs, this work essays the process of writing poetry in reaction to different experiences of sound. Employing various versions of the same poem to illustrate the ways that listening changes the poetry of a poem, To Begin A Poem seeks to problematizes William Carlos Williams' and Charles Olson's creed of composing "By Ear."

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