Portland State University. Department of English
Term of Graduation
Date of Publication
Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) in Creative Writing
Body, Divination, Ex-vangelical, Flowers, Herbalism, Poetry
1 online resource ( pages)
The letting describes a bodily and emotional metamorphosis in the aftermath of the speaker's traumatic separation from pentecostal christianity with its emphasis on a singular and certain god. These poems reckon with the question, What are the possibilities of embodiment in the wake of stolen agency? In an attempt to fill the hole left by god's absence, the poems turn to the natural world, its flowers, fungi, and cycles of life and death, as well as various forms of divination to ask how the hybridity of the grotesque (human merged with non-human forms) can widen the possibilities of embodiment and healing. Through unfolding layers of knowledge, intuition, uncertainty, and darkness, the poems reach toward what must remain fundamentally mysterious: the relative presence and/or absence of god; the boundaries between self and other; the holding of grief in the body; and the question of how to know anything at all.
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Duckwall, Jessamyn Hayley, "The Letting" (2023). Dissertations and Theses. Paper 6442.