Date of Award

Spring 2014

Degree Name

Honors Bachelor of Arts




Carol Frost

Committee Member

Emily Russel

Committee Member

Tom Cook


Language comes from poetry. We speak in symbols and rhythm, lacing the air with songs of praise and malediction, glory and defeat, or chants to the surrounding lands and people. We whisper and scream to the beats of our ancestors, molded through these thousands of years, even before civilization stacked its towers and walls along the great rivers of the world. The rivers, the sun, the moon: all have come to represent some other entity through our tongues. People toss around vocalized images strung together to the rhythm of the past, and that is language. And what of higher language, of this thing we call poetry? The primary function of normal language is to exchange information. The poem shares this function, but it is not paramount. While normal language and vernacular are tinged with song, poetry capitalizes on it and becomes it. The symbols and the rhythm come to the forefront, while the transmission of information and ideas lies quietly underneath, submitting to the pillars of beauty and acting as their foundation. But what these pillars support is the topic of much discussion in poetics. What form should a poem take? Should it be meticulously constructed or amorphous? Can beauty support a poem if it has no structure?

Rights Holder

Steven R Penaranda