Date of Graduation

Spring 2015


Master of Arts in English



Committee Chair

Jane Hoogestraat


psalms, nature, Ozarks, science, dailiness, time, gaps, space, flight, Biosphere II

Subject Categories

English Language and Literature


This thesis study is a full-length collection of poetry written and/ or revised during my time at Missouri State University. The collection and its critical introduction focuses on the notion of wandering, through place and time and thoughts and words, as a process of discovery or meaning creation. Some gaps or disruptions exist, always, in the ways we create or share meaning; always there's something we can't say but intuit in memory, in communication, in understanding. If we remove from our poetry the gaps in language or stories that stand in for vagaries or voids in experience, if we use dramatic situation, emotional transfer, or narration to close too tightly the byways of exploration, or if the point of our poem is always to create or convey meaning to our readers, then we limit the musicality and utility of poetry. On the other hand, if we write poems that allow for a degree complexity and strangeness that lies just the other side of familiar or expected, we get more at the reality of our nature of understanding, which is truly skittery and dynamic. To this end, my poetry pays a lot of attention to intellectual qualities of time (the idea of the separation between the Stevens' theory of "cry and occasion” within in a poem) and space (the idea of these gaps of ineffability and the tension surrounding them); the poems pay special attention to the play of language and sound; and contain themes of nature (especially Ozarks-based nature) and science, praise and curiosity, dailiness and strangeness.


© Katrina B. Murr

Campus Only