sylvae parvae: poems
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The following is a collection of original poetry, supplemented by a critical introduction tracing biographical, literary, and theoretical influences. The critical introduction takes the form of a series of loosely connected notes. The poems are divided into two major sections. I begin by discussing the difficulties involved in writing an overarching introduction to a collection which was never intended to be a cohesive whole, that is to say, a group of individual poems rather than a themed collection or sequence. I examine some of the influences on my work, including other poets and authors. These poets do not fall into strictly defined schools or chronological periods. Rather, I find that certain poets throughout history pay attention in greater or lesser detail to the spaces around words (potential meanings) and the system that is constructed in a given poem. I align myself, therefore, not with particular schools or eras, but with writing styles. I also discuss some of the theories that come into play in my work. Most often these resemble postmodernism, yet I tend to draw on metaphors from science or philosophy rather than literary theorists themselves, who are often needlessly obtuse. Lastly, I look at autobiographical influences that have shaped my writing. I complete my introduction with a detailed discussion of two poems and how these various elements are visible therein, and a few comments on the title of the thesis. The first section of poetry is titled "Lyrics & Observations." As can be gleaned from this title, the poetry is primarily lyric, though alternating between formal and informal in structure. Additionally, most of the lyric poems I write tend to make observations on life, leaving any moral unspoken or open-ended. The second section of poetry, on the other hand, is titled "Narratives & Lessons" and tends towards poetry with an overt message. These poems represent a selected output of the last year. Some of the poems may have begun their lives before I began my studies at Texas A&M University, but almost all have been revised since that point, reflecting my continuing growth and change as a writer.
Stumpo, Jeffrey David (2004). sylvae parvae: poems. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from