Fruit Knife Autopsy:Norse Trickster Poems

Mortimer, Warren (2022) Fruit Knife Autopsy:Norse Trickster Poems. PhD thesis, UNSPECIFIED.

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The project consists of a portfolio of poems, examining Norse tricksters as both elegists and rhetorical instruments. In my reflective writing, I begin by exploring the trickster’s place in modern poetry. After this, I investigate the notion of the trickster-poet, whose role is to grotesquely shape and dismantle the structures of elegy. The poems are inspired by the losses I have experienced over the past four years. They are both mythological and hyper-confessional. Some inhabit the voices of Frigg, Loki, and Odin, while others employ the trickster’s structural and formal processes. The project draws from the Norse eddas; mythological trickster stories; the grotesque; and the elegy. While Norse literature is centred on the ideology of a single people occupying a historical moment, trickster tales range from the Buddhist scriptures of Ancient China to contemporary American con-man narratives. As such, my poems strive to achieve a balance between scope and specificity. Likewise, Grotesque and Elegy are colossal literary terms which I attempt to narrow by considering their synthesis in a confessional form of poetry. There is no shortage of literature which focuses on the affinity between poetry and Norse mythology. However, this project seeks to recast Norse tricksters beyond their traditional roles as chaos agents. My compositional process is measured in light of tricksteresque disordered-order. I have been inspired by poets who examine both Norse mythology and trickster tales as a means of coupling voice and diction with strictly formal poetry. These include Nancy Charley, David Harsent, Ted Hughes, Victoria Kennefick, Sharon Olds, and Jacob Polley. For myself, Norse tricksters offer a fascinating depiction of the grotesque in elegy, devising new ways to imagine and create.

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Thesis (PhD)
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03 Oct 2022 14:55
Last Modified:
12 Sep 2023 00:53