Morrison, Julia Anna
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This project is a critical study on the poetics of grief and loss in Louise Glück’s The Wild Iris as well as a collection of original poems. In my study on Glück, I examine how metaphors for suffering are psychological as well as aesthetic devices for portraying and ultimately, abstracting loss. I use trauma theory to understand how emotional trauma informs Glück’s speakers as vehicles and bodies for bearing grief and to suggest that speaking itself becomes a way in which Glück’s speakers survive and recuperate after psychological tragedy. By studying the way in which Glück’s speakers testify after traumatic events, I suggest that experiences of psychological wounding are constantly subverted and repressed and are revealed through metaphor rather than factual accuracy. Lastly, I show how the pastoral landscape of The Wild Iris shapes the mental landscapes of grief. The poems of my own collection deal specifically with the process of articulating suffering in an elegiac landscape of trauma and decay and how the distortion of images reflects emotional scarring.