All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Adam Vines

Advisory Committee Members

Kerry Madden-Lunsford

Kyle Grimes

Lauren Slaughter

Document Type

Thesis

Date of Award

2020

Degree Name by School

Master of Arts (MA) College of Arts and Sciences

Abstract

This collection evaluates, primarily, the nature of absence through a study of negative space, which acts as the common thread that stitches this collection together into a cohesive whole. Through evaluation of relationships, both familial and romantic, with the external world and with the self, I’ve worked to evaluate the space that’s left behind. Each poem features the absence of something or someone that then acts as a mirror to reflect the self, the emotional state that remains. In many, the loss of a close friend is in the fore, where that absence is taken up by grief, longing, and pain. In others, the presence of someone, like a child, leaves an empty space a relationship struggles to amend—a longing for a life that no longer exists in its same form. Many pieces also aim to study the life of living with a chronic illness, where the absence of health equals disease. Many of the pieces ground themselves in form in an effort to explore emotions in a controlled environment. The chaos that exists in grief and sickness finds space to open up inside dedicated forms such as the sonnet, triolet, heroic couplet, etc. In others, their shape aims to explore the relationship between the speaker and the emotion or topic. This collection concerns itself, primarily, with the quieter moments that exist between the everyday commotion that often too easily overwhelms and disarms. It wants to evaluate the importance of the spaces between that hustle: the moment before lovers kiss, the moment after putting a baby in her crib, the stills that we often create meaning from without consciously meaning to. By zooming in and slowing down, this collection attempts to meditate on things often looked over. It exists in the moment before an inhale.

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