The Art and Theory of Grief

Open Access
Author:
Brenn, Jessica Elizabeth
Area of Honors:
English
Degree:
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Christopher Dean Castiglia, Thesis Supervisor
  • Lisa Ruth Sternlieb, Honors Advisor
Keywords:
  • lindenberg
  • doty
  • contemporary poetry
  • poetry
  • queer theory
  • grief
  • sentimentality
  • literature
  • mourning
  • death
Abstract:
People grieving the death of a loved one are often confronted with sentimentality‚ÄĒin the form of sympathy cards, the scripted language of wakes and funerals, and generalized platitudes. This paper will examine the ways poetry can challenge sentimentality by complicating the relationship between love and loss and bringing a more truthful experience to the forefront. By examining the poetry of Rebecca Lindenberg and Mark Doty, this paper will re-imagine a modern grief that follows a non-linear arc and that is lived through.