Off-campus SJSU users: To download campus access theses, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your SJSU library user name and PIN.

Publication Date

Spring 2011

Degree Type

Thesis - Campus Access Only

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


English and Comparative Literature


Alan D. Soldofsky



Subject Areas

Fine Arts


This thesis, a book-length collection of poems, examines subjects ranging from the fragile ties within a family to the brittle emotions held within an individual. The poems are arranged according to season. The first section, comprised of nineteen poems, starts in fall and ends in winter. The second section, full of adjusted lines, should visually look like a snow fall. The third section, comprised of twelve poems, explores and subverts symbols associated with spring such as renewal and growth. The last poem ends in the beginning of summer. In the end, the pain and longing the speaker carries contrast the archetypal symbols of summer - warmth and relaxation.

The forms of the each poem are purposely structured to be like a psychological breakdown. The first and third sections follow a normal alignment to represent a sense of the mundane and sanity. No matter how dramatic the subject matter is, the form tries to encapsulate the drama. However, in the second section, the poems have a sporadic alignment that represents the speaker's "break" from reality.

The poems are image based. Rather than using complex rhetorical language, the poems are constructed in everyday language to describe a normal setting. Whether the setting is a broken-down house or a field of flowers, my readers should be able to imagine the setting in his or her mind, so he or she is with the speaker of the poems and will be able to experience the same obstacles the speaker experiences.