Type of Document Thesis Author Reese, Rita Mae URN etd-09182003-163518 Title The Wolf’s Daughter Writes Home Degree Master of Arts Department English, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title David Kirby Committee Chair Barbara Hamby Committee Member Elizabeth Stuckey-French Committee Member Hunt Hawkins Committee Member Keywords
Date of Defense 2003-08-02 Availability unrestricted AbstractFor me, there has always been a wolf at the edge of the woods, watching and waiting. My sister often cried wolf, trying to shape reality into words that fit her emotional desperation. The
rest of my family simply agreed not to speak of the wolf. It is not that we believe it will go away if we don’t address it; speaking of the wolf simply seemed somehow weak, definitely futile, and
painfully self-indulgent. The wolf is sometimes hunger, sometimes depression, sometimes
alcoholism, sometimes loneliness or fear or anger or the past or the present or the future, or
anything at all that reduces us to less than the fragile concept of ourselves that we had each glued together, so alone and so patiently, each time it was smashed. But there is always a wolf, always watching.
My family tried to starve the wolf by denying it language, but that only served to make it
more cunning and more fierce. Poetry has helped me to gaze back at the wolf and see myself and
the world in her. The wolf at the edge of the woods is what Lorca called duende, the shadow of
death that reminds me that I am alive. The wolf is our escort into the woods. It is silence but it is also language itself. The wolf watches, not just me or my family, but everyone. It protects and nurtures us, but stalks us too.
Words can devour us. It is through this devouring, this annihilation, that we can be
reborn. We carry words around inside our heads and mouths like we own them; we have them at
our fingertips like they are dogs on leashes. But it is words that make us kneel and beg. And they
can blow our houses down.
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