Like watching pieces of the Universe, poems

Morse, Marise (2015) Like watching pieces of the Universe, poems. MPhil(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

Due to Embargo and/or Third Party Copyright restrictions, this thesis is not available in this service.
Printed Thesis Information:


My thesis project is a themed collection of original poems accompanied by a reflective essay outlining the occasions and the challenges I set myself. The collection grew out of a wish to expand upon images relating to water that I explored as part of my MLitt portfolio at Aberdeen University, inspired by my frequent walks along the Aberdeen coast. Water, in all its guises in the surrounding environment, became a springboard for reflection.

Water continues to feature (literally and metaphorically) in many of these poems, but the collection engages much more intimately and deliberately with form. My research entailed primarily metrical analysis to discover how meter and other kinds of patterning create and reinforce sense, how prosodies generate or help to generate meaning. Specifically, I focused on techniques employed in the art of two American poets with very different approaches, Robert Frost (1874-1963) who generally exploited traditional meters, and Marianne Moore (1887-1972) who often worked with syllabics, a form she did much to invent and define.

The introductory essay addresses two main topics. The discussion of Moore’s practice centers on her syllabic practice. Understatement, the varied tones achieved in her syllabic poems immediately drew me to her work. Her resourceful ability to incorporate all types of written material into her poems was an additional attraction.

In the case of Frost’s I carry out a close reading of his dramatic dialogue ‘The Death of the Hired Man’ from North of Boston, to illustrate what I call ‘deep structure’, a layered interplay between the poem’s content and its formal procedures. The sense of place that comes through in Frost’s poetry has also been important to me.

The poems in the collection are rooted in my own experiences and have been shaped by an imaginative vision, molded by my mixed heritage. The poetics realized in the poems included here are the product of my evolving practice, my developing relationship with Moore and Frost in particular, and my attempt to find my own way, with their assistance, to an individual goal.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Additional Information: Due to copyright restrictions the full text of this thesis cannot be made available online. Access to the printed version is available once any embargo periods have expired.
Keywords: Robert Frost, Marianne Moore, American poets, syllabic verse, dramatic dialogue, poetic form
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts & Humanities > School of Critical Studies > English Literature
Supervisor's Name: Schmidt, Professor Michael and Robinson, Professor Jeffrey
Date of Award: 2015
Embargo Date: 8 April 2023
Depositing User: Marise P. Morse
Unique ID: glathesis:2015-6261
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 27 Apr 2015 12:35
Last Modified: 07 May 2021 14:02
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.6261

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