Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


English, General Literature, and Rhetoric

First Advisor

Milton Kessler

Second Advisor

Robert Kroetsch

Third Advisor

Sheldon Grebstein


ln The Mirror Game, I have chronicled a growth, a way of exploration, but, more directly, a way of seeing. The process of perception is central to the poems; as indeed, the way the poems are languaged is part of the perception. To say the things that must be said has long intrigued me. lt still does, but this philosophical or didactic purpose has been largely diverted into seeing those things which are strikingly present to the eye and mind. The problem of articulating perception is complicated; however, it is never more than what meets the eye but it is altered by the eye. In this respect, I find that the mind/eye is a complex mirror in that it not only reflects concrete images of the external world, say, a sunflower or person or rose, but also illuminates them distinctively in such a way so as to affect their concreteness. But this notion of dealing with objects in the external world is not nearly half of it; the mind also reflects, recollects, and the eye looks back and perceives/defines the image (person and situation) in such a way as to not so much make it a momentary stay against the rampaging flood of time, but to revitalize the event or situation and make it positively and clearly present.

These poems, then, reflect a world in the process of becoming. What the poet perceives is necessarily altered by the nature of the perception. Even so, the range of expression in these poems may not at first glance appear great but the poems do subtly shift to a new perspective and emphasis. The field of the perceptually apprehended world, the new world of the poem, becomes eventually widened and deepened by the myriad reflections of the mind/eye. For example, in the apparently simple poem, “Death of a House,” the scene is well-defined, the emotion and tone are constant, and the poet experiences a simple, though strongly felt, confusion. Yet, this poem, in its use of time, contains the seeds of what will become a violent fruition of the mind/eye altering time in a poem like "Family Ties."

Available for download on Saturday, March 01, 2025