Nagurny, Alayna

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In this thesis manuscript, I attempt to explore the self as a container through my representations of speaker and perception in order to showcase a desire to grow and change and reveal, a desire to enact these desires, and ultimately a desire to distance from desire. Much of the work being done here exists in liminal spaces—I have drawn major influence from Keats’ concept of Negative Capability by allowing my speaker to exist within spaces of passivity and action, certainty and doubt, intimacy and distance, reality and imagination. The poems create motifs found in physical spaces as well, such as ocean, sky, walls, and body to investigate the idea of containment and self-positioning. To do this, I have worked to create portraits, dialogues, and anatomies that depict varied states of being: revealing, veiling, worrying, reflecting. The manuscript also invests in surreal imagery and world-building to resonate strangeness, drawing attention to function and inversion of function, which act to parallel the conflicted and changing nature of the speaker, trying to gain agency without completely letting go.


This thesis has been embargoed for 10 years and will not be available until May 2028 at the earliest.


Poetry, Imagist, Reflection, Self, Change, Desire