Balm of Gilead Thesis

(2017). Balm of Gilead . 10.25148/etd.FIDC001810

thesis or dissertation chair


  • Martin, Michael


  • BALM OF GILEAD is a collection of poetry that explores the speaker’s rediscovery of love and spiritual meaning in the years after his recovery from addiction and the loss of a parent. BALM OF GILEAD fits within the English poetic tradition of fastening ineffable sacred experience into more personal lyric modes, an inheritance dating not only to the works of John Donne, George Herbert, and Gerard Manley Hopkins, but to the Psalms of David. The often-confessional poems in BALM OF GILEAD borrow from the free verse and emotional urgency of Denis Johnson; the broken sonnets of Molly Peacock; and the devotional rhetorical posture of Maurice Manning. Moreover, BALM OF GILEAD orders poems through imagistic and thematic associations to document the complex means through which the speaker experiences his conversion away from the certainty of addiction and grief and into the unsure but redemptive footing of love and faith.

publication date

  • March 6, 2017

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)