Madonnas, Whores and Other Pilgrims Thesis

(2016). Madonnas, Whores and Other Pilgrims . 10.25148/etd.FIDC000221

thesis or dissertation chair


  • Swan, Barbara


  • This group of poems spans the life of the author. The three sections of the book address each part of the title: the visceral and sensory memories of a child; the physical passions and romantic visions of a young to pre-menopausal woman; and finally the reflective wisdom that comes with age.

    “Madonnas,” speaks to the fairy tale that is childhood, both the dream and the nightmare aspects. Through the senses and the acquisition of language, these poems speak to the innocence and trust of a child before knowledge and experience show her otherwise.

    “Whores,” speaks to the material American dream of wealth, sex, motherhood and heartbreak.

    “Other Pilgrims,” is a reflection of what has been lived, expressed in a manner that comes with time and contemplation. Themes include travel, menopause, religion, and philosophy.

    MADONNAS, WHORES AND OTHER PILGRIMS casts the experience of the feminine, challenging the madonna/whore dichotomy.

publication date

  • March 8, 2016


  • Poetry

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)