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If the garden




Eddington, Cassandra, author
Beachy-Quick, Dan, advisor
Steensen, Sasha, committee member
Moseman, Eleanor, committee member

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Within this manuscript, the crisis of the self's development--existentially, phenomenologically, beginning in the inner psychology of childhood--and larger societal cultural forces and narratives is constant. Like the fairy tales my manuscript is in conversation with, there is a necessary knowledge my poems wish to uncover. As foraging in the forest, this process of identification is urgent: it means death or survival. But this knowledge is not readily accessible--it must be found among the understory: language's mutation, memory's woodpile, the dark, domestic corners of memory, imagination's borders. This crisis of survival is a feminine crisis that requires an uncovering of histories that bind. And the detritus comes with a stutter; we must listen to language's mutation. We find ourselves in the darkest parts of the forest, of the self--where we must. Alongside foraging and uncovering run concerns of the self at a sprinting pace, the knowledge that to desire is to be hunted, that the erosion of the self's borders is inevitable within the erotic. And yet the desire to distinguish the self is rabid. What may be the paradoxical prayer of my poems is the desire "to disappear as deer/ to be held and not// carve a name not/ be still in scar."


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