: Poetry Collection and Critical Commentary

  • Rosalind Clare Hudis

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


‘Restorations: Poetry Collection and Critical Commentary’ comprises a collection of poems and a reflective, analytic, commentary exploring its background, development and poetics. The collection Restorations takes as its theme 'preservation' examining this both as practice and metaphor. The poems interrogate the significance of preservation on a number of levels, raising questions about both the ethics and modes of representation in this context. It falls into three sections. The first part considers preservation mainly in relation to art and art restoration. It features poems on the theme of the art restorer – a little traversed area within the wider category of ekphrastic poetry. The second section delves into more personal material, in particular tracing the loss of a parent to dementia and how this entwines aspects of the impulse to preserve. The third section explores, in particular, preservation in relation to some nineteenth century plant collectors and explorers. It looks at the pressure on identity – both in relation to the exotic 'other' and from the point of view of that 'other'. The critical commentary relates my work to issues in theory and contemporary poetic practice. The first chapter examines some of the theoretical background to the collection's composition, showing how this has impacted my own poetics. Drawing on my reading of some significant cultural theorists, including Fredric Jameson and Stephen Greenblatt, I explore the importance, to my practice, both of the notion of witness and of imagination and empathy. I situate this discussion within a wider examination of how we narrate history, on the one hand, and the uses and value of mimesis, on the other. The second chapter covers a discussion of contemporary issues in ekphrasitc poetry, placing my own work within this context. Chapter three transfers this discussion to an examination of the influence of Samantha Wynne-Rhydderch's collection Banjo ( Picador 2013 ) on the formation of Restorations. The final chapter comprises a closer analysis of Restorations, demonstrating how theme and poetics play out in formal and linguistic choices
Date of Award2018
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Aberystwyth University
SupervisorMatthew Francis (Supervisor)

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