Lyric poetry as secular prayer
Date of Issue2014
College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
Many writers think of writing poetry as being akin to praying for various reasons. This dissertation investigates what it means to write poetry as a kind of prayer and extrapolates these implications for the act of reading poetry. It attempts to construct a theory of how lyric poetry can function as secular prayer, and what happens when one encounters poetry in this manner. The paper begins by exploring the practices such a view of poetry compels, and studies the consequences of adopting these practices. It goes on to examine how writing and reading poetry affects the self who encounters poetry as prayer. The implications of such a conception of poetry would then be explored in terms of how it affects one‘s view of referential reality. Finally, it concludes by bringing to the fore the notion that holds these different strands together in a coherent account of lyric poetry as secular prayer.