Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing



First Reader/Committee Chair

Chad Sweeney


The Lemon Tree is a collection of poems that arose from my attempt to capture memories of influential experiences in growing up. The poems are written in prose blocks and move in and out of childlike and adult sensibilities, creating the disillusion of time and memory. The poems themselves are comments on the unreliability and limited scope of memory and compare remembrance to dreams. This suggests that time moves more fluidly than the waking world accepts. Through looking back, through prisms, the speaker remembers experiences that impacted her development as we follow her on a journey to coming-of-age. The Lemon Tree grapples with becoming and expressing her female fertility and growth as a woman. The speaker constantly searches for love in places of religion, marriage, romantic relationships and friendships. At times, the poems decide what love is by what it isn’t. The act of creating itself was the aim of the manuscript more than the finished project. Some remembrances are intentionally left unclear and messy like wild weeds. The poems are confessional and bear resemblances to a memoir in a lyrical fashion. The Lemon Tree focuses on the processes of life: both the barren and the abundance of fruit, light and dark, winter and summer. The speaker tries to resolve the binaries of trauma and of love and in the process, finds her identity as seen through the symbol of The Lemon Tree, which ultimately becomes her personal tree of life.

Included in

Poetry Commons