Haunted Houses: Ghosts of Absence and Hope




Jarecki, Madeleine

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This thesis discusses the poetry of Joanna Klink and Christian Wiman and presents original poetry in order to ponder the reality of life contingent on circumstances outside human control. The first two chapters explore how Klink and Wiman’s poetry approach uncontrollable realities like isolation, grief, and illness. The ultimate of these is death, which is considered variously: as inevitable, as a journey, as loss, as an enemy, or perhaps, as transformation. These elements speak to some sort of absence, highlight how need shapes human identity, and unexpectedly reveal positive elements. Chapter Three narrates this thesis’ development and discusses the author’s poetry in light of Wiman and Klink’s work. The poetry of Chapter Four pictures the workings of a distressed mind as a house. The reader is invited to join the ghosts of this house in stories that undertake to find hope—itself an absence of what we desire.



Poetry., American poetry., Literary criticism., Grief., Illness.