And Drop

Date of Award

Spring 5-20-2021

Level of Access Assigned by Author

Open-Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Jennifer Moxley

Second Committee Member

Benjamin Friedlander

Third Committee Member

Sarah Harlan-Haughey


The following manuscript is a thesis in poetry and poetics. The goal of the thesis was to develop a sense of my own poetics which could be articulated in a critical introduction and to put these poetics into practice by using them to create a collection of poetry. Through my exploration of past poets’s poetics for the critical introduction I was able to gain an understanding of several ways to approach writing poetry and develop my own methods based on the poetics from others that resonated with me. My critical introduction emulates Rosmarie Waldrop’s essay “Thinking of Follows” through the use of referential quotes and an explanation of my poetics in light of these quotes. The poems included in the collection titled A nd Drop explore themes of overwhelm and the notion of swooning, falling, dropping, and other forms of emotional tumbling brought upon the speaker due to overwhelming situations in their life. These situations are occasionally narrativized with expressed locations but primarily are shared with readers from the internal location of the speaker’s thoughts. In creating a collection of poetry which intentionally does not adequately deal with overwhelming uncertainty and in line with my own desire to create poems which escape a sense of linearity, I have attempted to develop a collection with multiple misplaced endings, varying levels of truth to the events being told by the speaker, and often a lack of an understandable narrative in general. The majority of the poems shift back and forth between phrases one would normally use in everyday conversation and more unusual phrasings that appeal to the poetics of sound poetry. The thesis originates from my own fixation on being overwhelmed and a discussion had during Sarah Harlan-Haughey’s Medieval English Literature course at The University of Maine about swooning being not necessarily a romantic act but rather one of overwhelm. In modernizing this experience and translating it into poetry, A nd Drop utilizes the repetition of the word “and” as an indicator of accumulating energy. Through the development of this thesis I was able to practice transforming the familiar content of romantic swooning into a new context informed by but also separate from my own personal experiences. Three poems within the manuscript are emulations and responses to poetry by Robert Duncan, Mina Loy, and Arthur Symons.

Included in

Poetry Commons