Portland State University. Department of English
Date of Award
Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) in Creative Writing
1 online resource (v, 103 pages)
Ontology -- Poetry, Home economics -- Poetry
How to Avoid Huge Ships and An Index of the Matters is a collection of poems divided into two sections, "How to Avoid Huge Ships" and "An Index of the Matters." These poems inhabit a wide variety of (primarily free-verse) forms, and range in length from a few dozen words to more than eight pages. The first section, "How to Avoid Huge Ships," is itself divided into three parts, or "questions," which engage with a variety of themes, including ontology, alienation, memory and domesticity. The second section, "An Index of the Matters," is a series of linked poems that lean heavily for much of their diction and syntax on an 1855 Portuguese-English phrasebook, O Novo Guia de Conversação, em Portuguez e Inglez, em Duas Partes, by José da Fonseca and Pedro Carolino. These poems share a common situation, in that they locate themselves within a particular domestic setting--a particular life, lived in a house-shaped house--which they observe, approach and explore from all angles. They concern themselves with "indexing" the quotidian "matters" of this shared life, seeking to illuminate what hides beneath the everydayness.
Thacher, Colin Brooke, "How to Avoid Huge Ships and An Index of the Matters" (2014). Dissertations and Theses. Paper 2022.