The Sophia Poems
thesisposted on 25.07.2018, 00:00 by Patrick Reichard
The Sophia Poems is a collection of personal, non-fiction essays written as a type of memoir. They are connected but can be read as stand-alone essays as well. The two principle connecting themes are the author’s marriage to Sophia, as well as its dissolution, and the location and function of his house, located in the Bronzeville neighborhood in Chicago. The house and neighborhood serve as a complicating factor in the marriage. However, those aspects were not the primary cause of the divorce. The title of the dissertation is a misnomer, since there is only original poem included. Rather, it is a reference to the author’s position as an instructor of poetry at a community college (both poetry as literature and creative writing) as well as a reference to the title of a portfolio of poems he wrote in a graduate workshop while at UIC. These poems were originally a tribute to his ex-wife, though the inclusion of the title serves as an ironic title. Rather than in poetic form or traditional essay, The Sophia Poems are written in vignettes, as a stylized prose-poem form, which attempts to capture the poetic equivalence while still remaining true to the non-fiction essay tradition. However, the stories are not presented in a chronological order. The intent of the dissertation is to portray the complicated nature of divorce. Although there is a case to be made for right and wrong action, those actions are understood and interpreted differently by perspective. The answer to the question of “Who is at fault?” is therefore never clear.