Abstract

In exploration of Millennial anxieties and the power of dreaming, The Gasoline Tree imagines a soundtrack for the revelations, defeats, and curiosities of leaving childhood behind. This is a collection of 40 poems that examines eating disorders, gender roles, physical abuse, sex, infidelity, loneliness, and the fear of losing one's parents. This collection also contemplates the brutalities and muted delights of what drives us all: love, in all of its forms. "The Gasoline Tree," "Wolf of Chocorua," and many other poems construct New England landscapes that pay homage to the pastoral uniqueness of Maxine Kumin and Galway Kinnell, while poems in the latter half of the collection, such as "Home Alone" and "Little Big Econ," rouse depictions of southern environments and intensify the narrator's budding sense of displacement. There are many voices within, but there are three particular voices that can be heard above the rest: the child struggles with the complexities of divorce and identity; the young woman struggles with the complexities of remorse and relationships; the woman struggles with reminiscence and loss. Yet, each voice works toward expressions of awareness and acceptance of the enduring captivation with impermanence and consequence in a disposition influenced by W.S. Merwin, Anne Sexton, Kay Ryan, and Louise Glück. Whether driving by a homeless man, staring at the ceiling fan, or lying awake late into the night, this collection examines the transient nature of everyday occurrences and the buried meanings that might govern them all.

Notes

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Graduation Date

2016

Semester

Spring

Advisor

Thaxton, Terry

Degree

Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)

College

College of Arts and Humanities

Department

English

Degree Program

Creative Writing

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0006139

URL

http://purl.fcla.edu/fcla/etd/CFE0006139

Language

English

Release Date

May 2021

Length of Campus-only Access

5 years

Access Status

Masters Thesis (Campus-only Access)

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