Date of Award
College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, English and Literary Arts
Creative writing, Fiction
This manuscript is an attempt to connect the personal myth I’ve fashioned out of a relationship with my dog with the larger role that dogs play in our consciousness and how this role alters our relationships with other humans. It is about my inability to comprehend, to see the truth behind these relationships - both with my dog and a composite “you.” It employs various poetic forms as well as a section of documentary prose. It begins in traces of language, to capture the ephemeral nature of human (and animal) interaction, and to hint at the foreshadowing of death we all live under. As death grows more transparent to the poems, the lines gain density. While my dog’s actions often drive the poems, the actions acquire significance through the emotions they illicit and the reminiscences they inspire; reminiscences that triangulate the relationship between “H,” “I,” and “you.” The interactions enact a sense of biographical interconnectedness that represents how fleetingly relationships function in actual life. This led me to write my dog as “H,” a letter the English language has historically and repeatedly tried to do away with; a letter that dissipates in a quick expulsion of breath. The poems repeatedly play with the syntax surrounding “H” and “I” to invite multiple readings. Our love of dogs and the loyalty they return breeds obsession in owners, though obsession can act ephemerally too (people transfer their obsessions). My desire is for the poems of H and I to embody this ephemerality and obsessiveness simultaneously.
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Received from author
Morse, Jesse, "H and I" (2016). Restricted Access ETDs. 69.