Graduation Year

2006

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.A.

Degree Granting Department

English

Major Professor

Nicholas Samaras, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Rita Ciresi, M.F.A.

Committee Member

Laura Runge-Gordon, Ph.D.

Keywords

poetry, free verse, narrative, lyric, post-modern

Abstract

This thesis is a book length collection of poetry—all original and by the author. The book has three chapters, each with a different mode of expressing the work’s overall theme: the remnants of unfulfilled wishes. The first chapter deals with ordinary or mundane manifestations of the theme. The second chapter covers extraordinary, but still feasible, variations on the theme. The final chapter deals with subconscious versions of these unfulfilled wishes. It is far more surreal than the other two chapters and exists in a sort of dream-reality.

The poetry included in this work is all free verse. There are narrative and lyric poems present, along with other experimental modes of poetry. Even though plot threads run through some individual poems, the overall collection shares only thematic unity. The work, as the title implies, seeks to call attention the fragmentation of dead dreams after hope has burned away. In a sense then, this collection could be seen as a post-modern work. The poems are arranged within the chapters to either create groupings around minithemes, or to create sharp contrast. The order represented in this collection is an attempt to maximize impact.

The cast of characters in this collection of poems is meant to be representative of the characters present in city life. There are drunks and prostitutes, mothers and fathers, lovers and ex-lovers, husbands and wives, sisters and brothers, schoolchildren, writers, grandparents, lawyers, politicians, photographers, gamblers and even corpses. These characters populate a world where unanswered wishes are as legitimate as minutes and hours as instruments to gauge the passing of lives—a poetic rendering of Earth at the beginning of the twenty-first century.

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