Date of Award

Fall 1-3-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Amy Moorman Robbins

Second Advisor

Dr. Sonali Perera

Academic Program Adviser

Dr. Janet Neary


This work explores language poet Susan Howe’s conceptualization of the natural world in her 1989 poem, Thorow. Conceptualization of a distinct and pure wilderness, inherited from Puritan settlers, is traced through Henry David Thoreau’s Walden and located in Howe’s experience at Lake George in 1987. This thesis describes Howe’s efforts to decolonize and open up closed historical narratives. Howe’s careful deconstruction of normative linguistic structures exposes the restrictive nature of standard syntax and canonical narratives.



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