Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



English Language, Literature, and Creative Writing


anatomy, biology, Da Vinci, medicine, metaphysical, poetry


Holbrook, Susan




Gutted is a collection of poems that re-evaluate the way in which we look at the human body. These poems look to fuse the taxonomical properties of an anatomy book with the subjectivity of poetry in order to imagine physical manifestations of metaphysical events in the body. Included in these works are anatomical drawings that create visual representations of their accompanying poetic content. These drawings are conceptualized based upon how each part of the body is described rather than what they look like in reality. Many of the poems in this manuscript call upon the history of medicine for their content in order to highlight previous theories of the body that extended beyond its physical and mechanical functions. Thinkers such as Da Vinci, Galen and Hippocrates are quoted directly, showing the way in which medicine and anatomy were approached through the lenses of art and philosophy in tandem with scientific observation. There poems use the subjectivity of language and meaning to locate the nonphysical and the experiential within the body, allowing the body to become physically unfamiliar but experientially more recognizable.