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This creative thesis is a work of narrative and lyric poetry. Death and Nature are two complex themes that emerge frequently in the poems and work as well across the breadth of the manuscript. The speakers' perspectives vary and are indebted to two sub-genres of poetry, namely--The Poetry of Witness, and Ekphrastic Poetry. Their psycho-analytic underpinnings are at times indisputable, and at other times, purely subjective. Many poems address political and human rights issues in the Middle East, and in the rest of the world. It is here that the poems depend and reveal flexibility with diction and varying structures. Overall, the poems reflect and investigate possible restraints and choices, both internally by the details and images, and externally by multiple experiments with free verse forms.
This dissertation addresses the representation of women in the poetry of the Irish poet Thomas Kinsella. Using a variety of theoretical approaches, including historical criticism, French feminist theory and Jungian psychoanalytical theory, I argue that although women are an integral part of Kinsella's ongoing aesthetic project of self-interrogation, their role in his poetry is deeply problematic from a feminist perspective. For purposes of my discussion I have divided my analysis into three categories of female representation: the realistically based figure of the poet's wife Eleanor, often referred to as the Beloved; female archetypes and anima as formulated by the psychologist C.G. Jung; and the poetic trope of the feminized Muse. My contention is that while the underlying effect of the early love and marriage poems is to constrain the female subject by reinforcing stereotypical gender positions, Kinsella's aesthetic representation of this relationship undergoes a transformation as his poetry matures. With regard to Kinsella's mid-career work from the 1970s and the 1980s I argue that the poet's aesthetic integration of Jungian archetypes into his poetry of psychic exploration fundamentally influences his representation of women, whether real or archetypal. These works represent a substantial advance in the complexity of Kinsella's poetry; however, the imaginative power of these poems is ultimately undermined by the very ideas that inspire them - Jungian archetypal thought - since women are represented exclusively as facilitators and symbols on this male-centered journey of self-discovery. Further complicating the gender dynamics in Kinsella's poetry is the presence of the female Muse. This figure, which becomes of increasing importance to the poet, transforms from an aestheticized image of the Beloved, to a sinister snake-like apparition, and finally into a disembodied voice that is a projection of the poet and his alter-ego. Ultimately, Kinsella's Muse is an aesthetic construction, the site of inquiry into the difficulties inherent in the creative process, and a metaphor for the creative process itself. Through his innovative deployment of the trope of the Muse, Kinsella continues to advance the aesthetics of contemporary Irish poetry.
Chinatown, Ars Poetica, and Draft explores the role of Asian culture on the poem.
It is a study of the draft process in getting closer to this definition of "culture" within
A Brief Introduction to the Small Beast of Hearts starts from the basic assumption that the apocalypse is ongoing. From there it explores grief, loss, and the dangers of human ambition. At the same time, it seeks to provide and investigate comfort--in the notion that our beautiful endangered world and all the life on it are very little pieces of a little multi-planetary vehicle diving through space; that time is a construct and, just as likely as not, we've been through all this before; that birds might whisper songs from sleep and may flash and fly above our houses, even after death; that civilizations in the depths of outer space have ineffective politicians and are subject to the exigencies of decay too!; that there are mysteries, mysteries, mysteries, including, but not limited to, friendship; and that, of course, should all else fail, we can always rely on the corporeal, though largely unknown, imaginary friend of our entire world, the small beast of hearts.
Set in South Texas, the poems of “Before the Body” address the border, not of place, but in between people. Following a narrative arc from a grandfather who spoke another language—silence—to a young boy who drowns in silence, these poems are expressions of the speaker’s search for intimacy in language: what words intend themselves to be, what language means to be.
The poems in sign on the dotted line to release the record force the gaze to the grotesque & complexity in the pregnant body, to the failure of the medical system, to the mother in birth. With hard syntax & unflinching language, the work spools synaptic lyrics into a graphic cesarean birth narrative that places the woman, in all her vulnerability & ferocity, back into the work of pain, of birthing, of body & mother. It returns not just honesty, but the value of honesty to the birth story: however complex. sign on the dotted line to release the record records & sets the record on fire.
For the past three decades, the design of an effective strategy for generating poetry that matches that of a human’s creative capabilities and complexities has been an elusive goal in artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language generation (NLG) research, and among linguistic creativity researchers in particular. This thesis presents a novel approach to fixed verse poetry generation using neural word embeddings. During the course of generation, a two layered poetry classifier is developed. The first layer uses a lexicon based method to classify poems into types based on form and structure, and the second layer uses a supervised classification method to classify poems into subtypes based on content with an accuracy of 92%. The system then uses a two-layer neural network to generate poetry based on word similarities and word movements in a 50-dimensional vector space.
The verses generated by the system are evaluated using rhyme, rhythm, syllable counts and stress patterns. These computational features of language are considered for generating haikus, limericks and iambic pentameter verses. The generated poems are evaluated using a Turing test on both experts and non-experts. The user study finds that only 38% computer generated poems were correctly identified by nonexperts while 65% of the computer generated poems were correctly identified by experts. Although the system does not pass the Turing test, the results from the Turing test suggest an improvement of over 17% when compared to previous methods which use Turing tests to evaluate poetry generators.
In The Queen of Technicolor, poems draw from the lives of Mexican-Americans as immigrants and their experience of otherness. Facets of a more complex identity—assimilation, language, and a shared human experience—are woven to suggest the need for recognition. The poems are set in the Southwestern United States borderlands as well as Mexico during present day but with a layer of narrative reaching back to the 1940’s and the 1910 Mexican Revolution.
Truce Country describes the uneasy states of uncertainty. The speaker exists in displacement, such as the speaker’s ambivalent relationship to America, love of its ideals and individuals as well as constant self-awareness of race, and the role of English as both a first and second language. The poems work on their own logic and take a deadpan tone towards sexuality and the surreal. Through autobiography and persona, they question the validity of memories, and the study of perfection casts utopia as dystopia.
The Wilting Tree is a collection of poems that explores family as the first and final frontier of human connection and understanding. Through three primary narrative threads (parents, siblings and the individual member), the poems excavate the love, longing, betrayal, violence, enigma, joy, humor, compromise, ambivalence, resilience and inevitability that’s found within family and family dynamics, and innovate a mythology to concretize and tribute what often never renders or is kept secret in families over a lifetime. The speaker of these poems serves as both participant and spectator as he reckons with his own (and often secret) shifting loyalty and resignation toward family and his own human development, which has no choice but to play out within the audience of family over many departures and returns.