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Document Type



Master of Fine Arts (MFA)



First Advisor's Name

Campbell McGrath

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Denise Duhamel

Third Advisor's Name

Vernon Dickson

Date of Defense



MORNING is a collection of lyrical poems that explore basic questions of art and faith: where does creativity come from; what drives humans to believe; how do we find meaning in faith and in art? Light is a central image in these poems. If not physically present, it is present as the idea of inspiration, both artistic and spiritual. These poems are rooted in natural imagery and draw on concrete images for their power and force. MORNING is an exploration of what it means to be aware and attentive as a human being and as an artist.

Each poem is written in free-verse. They are tightly constructed with short, terse lines, and few poems are longer than a single page. This collection is arranged and grouped according to themes: the creative force of language; the aim of art to find meaning; relationships between human beings and between creature and creator, whether human or divine; faith and the necessity of gratefulness; the inseparability of life and art, of faith and love. There are a few series of poems that are joined by a recurring image, or images, including trees, peaches, and birds. The poems create an experience of waking up to the light. They drive to pin down that simplicity and that gratitude.

Influenced by the meditative spirit of Czeslaw Milosz's poems, the big-heartedness of Jack Gilbert, and the mental dexterity of Robert Hass, these poems strive to make a poetic whole of the internal and external worlds. Like the work of these major poets, the poems in MORNING utilize the contemplative nature of the lyric to express individual consciousness in time and place. Image, idea and metaphor: this is where the poems find their rhythm, their life, and their freedom.





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