Degree Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 4-1-2009

Capstone Advisor

Harvey M. Teres

Honors Reader

Michael P. Burkard

Capstone Major


Capstone College

Arts and Science

Audio/Visual Component


Capstone Prize Winner


Won Capstone Funding


Honors Categories


Subject Categories

English Language and Literature | Other English Language and Literature


This project examines the poetry of Raymond Carver, focusing on three areas: Carver’s poetic technique, the effects of alcoholism on Carver’s poetry, and representations of mortality in Carver’s poetry. I focus mainly on Carver’s collected poems, using interviews and other critical essays to contextualize my argument. Through careful close readings of a selection of poems, I show that, although prosaic, Carver’s poetry possesses key poetic components that set his poems apart from his prose. I argue that it may have been Carver’s transition into sobriety that was responsible for the eventual shift of his focus to writing poetry in 1984, and I show how Carver tries to distance himself from his alcoholic past in his poetry. I also make the argument that Carver’s diagnosis of terminal cancer and his early death are not solely responsible for the frequent representations of mortality in Carver’s late work, but rather that these themes were always prevalent in Carver’s work, and Carver’s imminent death just makes them more significant.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



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