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.
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Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Manning, Brianne, "The Gasoline Tree" (2016). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 4990.