UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
James R. Whiteside (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
David Roderick

Abstract: The title of this thesis comes from the Portuguese term, "saudade." Saudade is more than our English idea of melancholy--it can be thought of as "the love that remains" in an absence. For the purposes of the project, the poems in Saudade explore the relationship between memory, music, and perspective in relationships taking place in a contemporary urban pastoral. Specifically, the poems address relationships--usually romantic--between men. As a gay man, I feel it is especially important to write from my own experiences as a member of such a community. The work in conversation with contemporary poets such as Frank Bidart, Richard Siken, Craig Arnold, and Kathleen Graber, reaching back even to C.P. Cavafy. The poems' speakers are faced with one of life's most confounding desires--to know for certain the thoughts and feelings of the beloved. How is shared meaning communicated by two people who are socialized not to speak about their emotions? The poems search for perspective, a safe place where they might access the individual experience or viewpoint of the other. The tension between intense feeling and a lack of ability to communicate with the object of that feeling is central to the poems in Saudade. Some of the work (exemplified by the poem "Mahler's Symphony No. 1 in D Major") has begun to transcend the "you-I" binary in order to explore the possibilities of the speaker sharing elements of the internal life with a general audience. This work explores the public-private tension so germane to contemporary discourse.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2014
Classical music, Gay, Love, Poetry, Saudade, Symphony
American poetry $y 21st century

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