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Thesis - Campus Access Only
Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
English and Comparative Literature
My project juxtaposes a diversity of social, personal, and political ideas within the texts of my poems, including not only a sampling from other literary texts but also materials found on and collaged into the text from social media and the Internet. On the World Wide Web, individuals can make their private lives very public and exact judgment upon one another without knowing anything about who the actual person is, giving the prevalence of anonymity on the Internet. As the World Wide Web itself has become a mélange of texts using variety of modes of media, my book of poems, The Current Life, is composed to include social, political, and confessional poems that mirror the medium from which the book takes its inspiration. As Walt Whitman said, "I am large and contain multitudes." This project is, thus, an intertextual poetry collection that combines found texts, original verse, visual artifacts, and multimedia. Language, in its commoditized and literary forms, is the fabric out of which I've constructed these poems. Like a clothing designer uses fabric, I use found materials, reconfiguring them into something new through their juxtaposition. As hypertext and the Internet reconfigure language, this project re-appropriates the language of the internet into literature.
Like all works of art, poems are not only about the meaning the text deploys but also how the words of the text look on the page. The style in which a poem is constructed consists of white space and an alphabetic text, making a visual pattern. The words are signifiers but are also material objects themselves. Emphasizing the materiality of language, Concrete Poetry provides an example of texts intended for viewing as an objects as much as a typographic text
carrying a set of linguistic meanings. This project creates graphic poetry or poems with visual elements not limited to alphabetical text and white space.
Totten, Sara Jane, "The Current Life" (2013). Master's Theses. 4404.