Date of Award

5-1-2015

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts

Department

Creative Writing

First Advisor

Joseph, Allison

Abstract

The Measure of Snow traces events set into motion when the speaker falls into depression and eating issues, is hospitalized, and recovers, but he is then witness and close companion to his sister's deeper entanglement with these issues. In this manuscript, I interrogate and re-imagine myths of the family through ethnography and participant-action research. As eating disorders often explore themes of reduction and control, I show these disappearances through form--sonnets and sonnet-like poems, prose poems in a tightly confined space, and poems that mirror text. As witness to her decline, realizing that words can only go so far, I also use ekphrasis--the magnolia portraits of Martin Johnson Heade and three-dimensional figures of Alberto Giacometti are chief inspirations.

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