Crafting Dreams of Lucid Shape

Date of Award

January 2015

Degree Type

Closed Access Thesis

Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


English and Theatre

First Advisor

Young Smith

Department Affiliation

English and Theatre

Second Advisor

Christina Lovin

Department Affiliation

English and Theatre

Third Advisor

Julie Hensley

Department Affiliation

English and Theatre


To be a Poet, a Writer, and thereby human, is to be vagrant--one who wrestles with identity by wandering the varied landscapes of both societal and individual beliefs, treading ground that is free from, but dependent upon, temporal and spatial irregularities. Tradition, Mythology, Experience, and Meditation provide differing mores and guideposts for the wanderer--his travel, then, is an unsure one, fraught with necessary pitfalls and sporadic boons that direct him towards his (final?) end. The critical introduction and subsequent book of poetry will follow the meandering, but forever purposeful, quest of he who would know more--be more--than the prescribed or predestined "truths" of the unlived life. Wisdom, if there is any to be found, is in the discovery that one begins, proceeds, and ends one's life by identifying with The Fool of the Tarot.

To accomplish this exploration, the author will first lead the reader on a journey through his own challenges/discoveries over the course of his Graduate studies. The critical introduction will discuss and/or argue the sources of inspiration, such as Angel, Muse, and Duende (drawing source material from Garcia Lorca, Mary Oliver, Joseph Campbell, Carl Philips, Dean Smith, Natalie Goldberg, and Steven Pressfield), and how these sources inform, dictate, and/or depart entirely from the process of formal construction and revision within, both, a single poem and a collection of poetry. A foray into influences, both positive and negative, as well as motives behind the thesis project, will be included, drawing from the works of Edgar Allen Poe, Neil Gaiman, Charles de Lint, Mary Oliver, Wayne Miller, Beth Ann Fennely, and the thesis project in question. The author has taken a more creative (versus traditional) approach to the shape and argument of the critical introduction, in an attempt to mirror the overall effects that are being discussed within that introduction and the thesis project.

The creative work that follows will alternate between sequences of poetry and the pillars of the collection, formed from a longer essay-in-aphorisms titled "The Wanderer - A Reading", which uses the Major Arcana cards of the classic Tarot to chronicle the movement of the speaker along his path from his beginnings as The Fool, through the process of enlightenment and self-identification, and ultimately back again to the understanding that every day is, necessarily, a return to those origins--and the greater wisdom found within The Fool.

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