Still life with rooms people live in
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] The following is a collection of poems about the transience of the human world, poems which combine an elegiac embracing of our own insignificance and an existentialist panic rendered in lyrical diction that is both sensuous and abstract. Many of the poems involve a descent into anonymity and a visual grasping of details the further they move into death. These are poems of estrangement in which the portraits of the speakers and landscapes are more interested in presenting a world than in constructing a narrative argument. The central theme of the poems is the unabated search for the sanctuaries of the absolute, the ideal, the true and the real, and finally the realization that the absolute will be found in and through time, not in transcendence of it. Preceding the poetry manuscript is an essay which explores Wallace Stevens' long poem "An Ordinary Evening in New Haven" through the lens of American Pragmatist epistemology. The essay seeks to show how the propositions of Stevens' poem are continually being refined and that the strategies of the poem can be seen as analogous to methods of scientific or philosophical inquiry.
Access is limited to the campus of the University of Missouri--Columbia.