Date of Award

January 2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Heidi Czerwiec


This is Only a Test, a collection of original poems, explores perception: how we view ourselves both in our everyday lives and in our obsessions. My hope is to not necessarily to critique these moments or years in our lives, but to expose them in my aesthetic project, using free verse, form, and invented form to set them against the unexpected. By using and departing from traditional poetic forms I create new ways of reading the content. In writing about themes such as fertility, relationships, sexuality, and violence I look at the places we never meant to be in view of possible benefits and or complications to such themes. I will explore human reactions to these themes, and what we might see differently. I engage with forms and invented forms beyond how they are normally used, to create new ways of seeing the subject matter. With this project I set my work against theories of perception which rely directly on the information present in the stimulus, though many argue that perceptual processes are not direct, but depend on the perceiver's expectation and previous knowledge as well as the information available in the stimulus itself. I want these poems to engage on the critical level between the perceptions of the poems' speakers and readers, to discover what lies beyond their expectations. This project will focus on how perception operates as written, versus a purely visual medium.