Date of Award


Document Type

Union College Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Jordan Smith

Second Advisor

Judith Lewin




spanish, violence, world, border, latin


This thesis explores, through poetry, a transition from an old idealist world to our modern realist world, plagued by violence and lost innocence. The work begins with portraits of Logroño, Spain, highlighting the sharp contrast between an older generation who grew up under Franco’s fascist dictatorship, and contemporary Spanish youth. Both generations strive to reach common ground, and though they encounter religious intolerance, youth sexuality and the devaluation of tradition, they ultimately overcome their differences to create a unique and modern Spanish identity. Using poems about travel and transient relationships to mediate a change in tone, the focus shifts to the Southwestern United States and Latin America, former colonies of the Spanish empire. Finally free from the oppression of colonialism, the Western Hemisphere struggles to establish its place in the world, unveiling its frailty and imperfection in the process. Spanish flaws, however, pale in comparison to the stark realities of Latin American life, seeming to belong to an older, more idyllic time. The final section focuses on the border towns between the United States and Mexico, particularly lawless and volatile areas where violence is continually on the rise. The poems address the impact of drug trafficking, women’s rights, immigration policy and the quality of life in border towns. The goal, therefore, is to capture the dual qualities of this no-man’s-land, the beauty of the natural landscape and folklore, contrasted sharply with ethnocentrism, bloodshed and overt violence.