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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Development of P.K. Page's imagery : the Subjective eye: the eye of the conjuror Valleau, Allen Keith


In an attempt to develop a better perspective on P.K. Page's work, the thesis concentrates on the development of her imagery. The imagery illustrates the direction of Page's development and a close study of its nature will uncover the central concerns of Page's writing. The first chapter of the thesis examines the field of critical analysis already undertaken on Page showing its good points and its weak points. The following three chapters trace the chronological development of Page's work. The second chapter covers up to the writing of The Sun And The Moon in 1944. Even her early work illustrates that as her images became complex, her concern with perspective grew. Her more complex work such as, "The Stenographers", "Panorama", and The Sun And The Moon in particular illustrate this concern. The third chapter analyzes the poetry of her first collection As Ten As Twenty and looks at the period between 1944 and 1954. In this period Page's images become more complex and her work becomes overtly involved with perspective and vision. Images revolving around trains, photographs, snow and whiteness become recurring and a continuity develops between her subjects. Most significantly "Round Trip", "The Bands And The Beautiful Children", "Adolescence", "Them Ducks", "Stories Of Snow", "Subjective Eye", and "Photos Of A Salt Mine" illustrate how Page's concern with imagery and perspective was melding together. The fourth chapter deals with her second collection The Metal And The Flower and her third collection Cry Ararat I. It also looks briefly at Page's shift to painting in the Sixties and examines some of her more recent poetry. In this period Page undergoes her most significant changes. Images recur from earlier periods, but now the images elicit a more complex view of the world. Page's poetry reflects her awareness of the bounds of vision. She realizes that one must become a conjuror in order to see different perspectives. Her poetry, painting, and articles reflect this shift as "Reflection In A Train Window", "Arras", "Cry Ararat!", "A Backwards Journey", "Questions And Images", and "Traveller, Conjuror, Journeyman" illustrate. The study demonstrates that as Page's imagery developed, there was a parallel development in her concern with perspective and vision. Her imagery and her vision merge as perspective and vision become her primary concern. Her recent poetry indicates that any further development will be in the same vein as she attempts to discover more about the interrelationship between image, perspective and vision.

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