Rites: Poems

Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)




Henry Hart

Committee Members

Nancy Schoenberger

Martha Lee Alexander

Brian Hulse


This project, entitled Rites, focuses to a large extent on realms of the spiritual and sacred, examining in what ways we seek a sense of peace. This writing also centers on ideas of womanhood, myth, metamorphosis, imagination, perception, and art and artistic representation, especially artistic representations of women. Writing after an Imagist tradition which stems from ancient Greek and Japanese roots, I additionally write, like women Imagist poets H.D. and Louise Gluck, to challenge traditional assumptions perpetuated by such methods. Any art tradition which distills its narratives into images must be questioned: in crystallizing some narratives it effaces others; what it does display as art, it may misrepresent. I question the extent to which women may or may not be represented in art. Are these representations moral? Are they accurate? Can they change, even within the course of a poem? I question the extent to which something visual may be confined to one space, as well as the extent to which perception and identity may or may not remain similarly confined. I think—and hope—this writing invites questioning, change, transformation.

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