Date of Graduation

Summer 2017


Master of Arts in English



Committee Chair

Marcus Cafagna


poetry, free verse, meditation, image, narrative, lyrical, sexuality, location, Spanish, code-switching, girlish, girlhood

Subject Categories



The following collection deals with autobiographical work. My purpose for this thesis was to present poems in which spoke to a girlish attitude under various circumstances such as age, location, and expectation. While this thread of girlhood lends itself as a conceptual framework, the poems themselves vary in style. They move between elements of imagism, narrative, lyricism, meditation, and some code-switching. I found that by letting the poems happen upon recognition and shape themselves out of memorable content rather than by trying to adhere to a strict concentration on one particular style or form allowed me ample materials for building this thesis. The title of this collection, This Way Girl Comes Bearing Gifts, is about the way I have been able to bear the weight of memory—as gifts. It is intended to show a way in which lived and living girlishness, whether something wrong or wronged, can still be full-bodied and spirited. My connection to the title at age twenty-six is one where I feel years of prolonged girlhood have influenced the course of my actions and led me to poetry.


© Alexandra Webster

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