Marvels of the Invisible

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This dissertation is comprised of a collection of poems preceded by a critical preface. The preface considers the consumed animal body as a metaphor in contemporary American poetry, specifically in the works of Galway Kinnell, Li Young Lee, and Brigit Pegeen Kelly. The consumption of the mute creature allows the poet to identify the human self in the animal other, and serves as a metaphor for our continuity with the natural world. I revise Owen Barfield’s notion of “original participation,” positing that through imaginative participation, the poet and the reader can identify the animal within the self, and thus approach ... continued below

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vii, 84 pages

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Molberg, Jenny, 1985- May 2015.

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This dissertation is part of the collection entitled: UNT Theses and Dissertations and was provided by UNT Libraries to Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. It has been viewed 203 times . More information about this dissertation can be viewed below.

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  • Molberg, Jenny, 1985-

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Description

This dissertation is comprised of a collection of poems preceded by a critical preface. The preface considers the consumed animal body as a metaphor in contemporary American poetry, specifically in the works of Galway Kinnell, Li Young Lee, and Brigit Pegeen Kelly. The consumption of the mute creature allows the poet to identify the human self in the animal other, and serves as a metaphor for our continuity with the natural world. I revise Owen Barfield’s notion of “original participation,” positing that through imaginative participation, the poet and the reader can identify the animal within the self, and thus approach a fuller understanding of both the self and the outside world. We identify the animal other within the human self, and in of this act of relating, we are able to temporarily transgress the boundaries of the individual self to create art that expresses continuity with the outside world. This argument brings about a discussion of text as an act of consumption, and the way and which this can symbolize the ways in which the self is altered through the act of reading. The book-length collection of poems, entitled Marvels of the Invisible, won Tupelo Press’s 2014 Berkshire prize for a first or second book of poetry. The poems look to sources like 17th and 18th century scientific letters, modern and contemporary art, and recent studies in biological phenomena in order to parse the intersection between personal experience and the outside world. The title of the collection points to the conceptual interests of the book: through the lens of scientific phenomena, memory, and personal history, one begins to see that what seems very small (the ant under a microscope, a Russian nesting doll, two people on horseback) are, in fact, individual offerings that articulate one’s place in the cosmos. The collective voice I advocate in the critical preface appears in these poems, especially “Echolocation,” “My Name in Sleep,” “Civilization,” and “Narrative,” all of which make use of the animal-as-metaphor. This collective voice is particularly female, and deals with motherhood, loss, and childhood experience. Poetry, as part-myth, longs to transgress the felt boundaries of the self; it must see that self as inextricably dependent on the natural world.

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vii, 84 pages

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UNT Theses and Dissertations

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  • May 2015

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  • Feb. 9, 2016, 4:37 p.m.

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  • March 28, 2017, 9:32 a.m.

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Molberg, Jenny, 1985-. Marvels of the Invisible, dissertation, May 2015; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc801890/: accessed August 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .