Publication Date

April 2009

Advisor(s)

Bellen, Martine

Major

English

Language

English (United States)

Abstract

In Theravada Buddhism, "romantic love" and sex are seen as antithetical to spiritual development because they are motivated by desire. This collection of poems examines the psychological and spiritual overlap between compassion and "romantic love," with special attention paid to ego and selfhood. Who is the "I" and the "you" in "I love you?" Are they categorically different? What does compassion have to do with "romantic love?" This manuscript interrogates language's ability to communicate about the abstraction "love," taking cliché, convention, and historical memory as starting points and then exploding them. Despite her skepticism of language, the speaker allows "love" to shape her words and experience. "Eros is fallacy," the speaker states, "and a wild/ garden where I see God/ in your face." .

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