The Poems You Don't Own is a collection of poems whose speakers explore the journey from the simplistic perspective of childhood to the confusion of adolescence to the first experiences of sexuality, heartbreak, and grief, examining the religious, societal, and gender expectations that influence those experiences. The collection's reverse-chronological order allows readers to travel back through the many experiences that shape a present moment. In poems such as "The Game of Life," the speaker considers the gender roles that begin to influence our perception of relationships from a young age, while poems such as "What to Know Before Writing about Heartbreak" explore how societal perceptions can seek to control the very expression of emotional pain. The speakers struggle with masculine and feminine in an effort to unravel the association between emotional expressiveness and feminine "weakness" as well as reveal the harmful consequences of perceiving emotional repression as a feature of masculine "strength." Amid these gender explorations, the collection often returns to speakers seeking to understand the heartbreak of failed relationships and almost-loves. By probing this universal experience, these poems chronicle the loss, confusion, and reclaiming of identity as the speakers rediscover that their story was never about "you."
If this is your thesis or dissertation, and want to learn how to access it or for more information about readership statistics, contact us at STARS@ucf.edu
Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Campus-only Access)
Reinhardt, Emma, "The Poems You Don't Own" (2019). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2004-2019. 6418.