The Art and Theory of Grief

Open Access
Brenn, Jessica Elizabeth
Area of Honors:
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Christopher Dean Castiglia, Thesis Supervisor
  • Lisa Ruth Sternlieb, Honors Advisor
  • lindenberg
  • doty
  • contemporary poetry
  • poetry
  • queer theory
  • grief
  • sentimentality
  • literature
  • mourning
  • death
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.