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Access Type

Campus-Only Access for Five (5) Years

Document Type


Embargo Period


Degree Program

Comparative Literature

Degree Type

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



This thesis explores the intersections of war, motherhood, and language in the poetry of Aria Aber and Solmaz Sharif, focusing in particular on their debut poetry collections, Hard Damage and LOOK respectively, and the “America” poems by both poets, published online. Chapter One explores the differing portrayals of motherhood in Aber’s poems and Sharif’s poems, focusing particularly on Aber’s specificity in the image of the mother, focused on the speaker’s mother, and Sharif’s wider view of the mother. Chapter Two explores how each of them portray war through the similar formal structure—a list poem followed by a long documentary poem focused on the personal—in order to understand the lasting impacts of war. Chapter Three focuses on their “America” poems and how both poets understand belonging, and how they eventually find an impossible home in language.


First Advisor

Jim Hicks

Second Advisor

Rachel Green

Third Advisor

Asha Nadkarni

Available for download on Friday, March 01, 2024