Candle Bearers: Poems
O'Reilly, Patrick 1988-
The anonymous priest at the centre of Candle Bearers is suffering an attack of divine writer’s block. The serialized poems of this thesis follow the priest as he struggles to translate the voice of God through repetitive ritual, social engagement, and private contemplation, before ultimately resigning himself to the ineffability of divine perfection. Based on the triune pattern of art suggested by St. Thomas Aquinas, and informed by the prosodic theories of Dennis Lee and others, the poems of Candle Bearers enact a polyphonic narrative progression: as time progresses, new speakers and new forms shape the text. The increasing variety and liberty of forms – which include triolets, sonnets, haiku, free verse, and others – situates the priest in a cascade of increasing dissonance, a sonic manifestation of his disconnect from both the community and God. Through this careful manipulation of form, these poems explore themes of speechlessness and revelation. Combined, they serve as an ars poetica, recreating for the reader the process through which the thesis itself was written. Ultimately, this exploration and experimentation of form is an attempt to write silence, to make silence a concrete object rather than an abstract concept. In so doing, Candle Bearers seeks to reinvigorate the dying metaphor of poet-priest, and prove common ground between craft and ritual.
DegreeMaster of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)
DepartmentInterdisciplinary Centre for Culture and Creativity
CommitteeFlynn, Kevin; Cichon, Michael; Brenna, Dwayne
Copyright DateJune 2016
Poetry. Prosody. Long-Form.