Date of Award

8-2014

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts

Department

English

Program

Creative Writing

First Advisor/Chairperson

Dr. Beverly Matherne

Second Advisor

Assistant Professor Jason Markle

Third Advisor

Dr. Nathaniel Greenberg

Abstract

ABSTRACT

WAR AND RETURN

By

Alexander Vartan Gubbins

War and Return is a collection of poetry that pivots on the conflict between loss of human life, sometimes even whole cities, and reinvention of cultural identity. In these poems, I search for and shape my own identity as a poet, while revealing my experiences as a soldier in the US War in Iraq and as the grandson of an Armenian who survived the 1915 Armenian Genocide in Turkey. These narrative poems are mainly in open form with a few in closed form as well. As I write in open form, I am not bound by line length or sound repetition. Other elements such as imagery, cataloging, and metaphor are my primary concern. With the ghazal form, however, one rooted in the Middle East, I am bound by steadfast tradition and, in these, I reach for my Armenian-ness that may have been otherwise inaccessible. On the whole, the poems in this thesis give shape to the unseen and the forgotten, for victims of war are continually discovered.

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