Graduate Studies




Date of this Version



A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Arts, Major: English, Under the Supervision of Professor Grace Bauer. Lincoln, Nebraska: May 2011

Copyright 2011 Paul Strait


Testaments is a poetry collection divided into four distinct but complimentary segments: Lost Boy, Golgotha, Scratch, and Adrift. The organization of each section is loosely structured around the Christian gospel. Part I, Lost Boy, chronicles the fall of man; Part II, Golgotha, echoes the crucifixion of Christ; Part III, Scratch, demonstrates the after effects of Christ’s death and resurrection; finally, Part IV, Adrift, is meant to represent the current period of waiting for Christ’s second coming. This story arc is also emphasized by the collection being bookended by Genesis, written from the viewpoint of Adam after being cast from the Garden of Eden, and Hades, which attempts to highlight the plight and chaos of fallen humanity. There are a number of other voices within the collection, which, along with the Biblical allusions throughout the work, led to the selection of Testaments as the title.