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Genova, Amy K.
Koontz, Tom
Issue Date
Thesis (M.A.)
Department of English
Other Identifiers

My Master's Thesis Project is a book of poetry entitled Birdbath. The title was inspired by the birdbath that sits in my front yard and collects, besides finches: snow, rain, leaves, reflections, twigs and bugs. Sometimes my birdbath is dry, but never empty. My blank pages are like a vessel or birdbath collecting my thoughts that pass overhead. The first section, Eggshells, tend to be birdsongs of loss or brokenness. The second section, Flight, involves different things; flights of fancy or flights like the phoenix took, from the ashes. Birds are recurring images in my poems and hopefully some of the beauty of their songs.Writing is fundamental to me. Journal writing provided me with a confidant, a friend, a mirror, a sketchpad, a record book, and a warm shoulder.Letter writing secured me in time as a child, lover or wife. Not only were my teenage flights of fancy preserved, but also great words such as groovy, mellow and heavy. Not only were my stories told, but also the historical context in which I wrote them. I wrote form a pier in Seattle, Washington, on the nation's bicentennial, and I wrote about Emperor Hirohito's death the day I arrived in Japan. Furthermore, my sacred voice is preserved, silly or as inept as it may be. I believe the voice of every human being is sacred.My aesthetic of writing is to write a true voice. When I write a poem or a story, I try t communicate honestly and simply what I know about living. At the same time, I rewrite and rewrite and rewrite. Sometimes the process eats me alive, but usually the work is better, the language sharper, and the imagery more profound. Because I am also an artist, I try to create beauty. My poems are filled with imagery. Hawthorne described the prison cell as the "black flower" of civilization. I believe art, in all its forms, is civilization's rose. I believe in art not for art's sake, but for humanity's sake. Art engenders relationship, beauty, communication, concern and growth even when it presents the horrific and the ugly. For example, in Charles Dickens' Great Expectations an escaped convict comes upon a small boy in a cemetery. The prisoner yanks the boy upside down by the heels and threatens him, "You get me a file. And you get me some wittles. Or I'll have your heart and liver out." The scene is frightening, shocking, and a great hook. More than that, Dickens evokes empathy in the reader for the child and later, surprisingly, sympathy for the starving convict. I believe masterly art has the capacity to elicit growth in its receiver. I write with that aim in mind.