Crown of Planets Open Access

Henry, Christopher Rhett (2015)

Permanent URL:


Crown of Planets is a collection of poetry that takes up as its question: what happens after the tragedy? My work is interested in extreme emotional experiences felt because of, or in the aftermath of, personal trauma. My thematic palette spreads to religious authority, gender, domestic abuse, death, working class experiences, and the ways in which art and meaningful relationships develop, not merely as reactions to traumas, but also as a way to actively resist and remake the world. A shifting "I" inhabits multiple speakers, including an alien abductee, delirious lovers, devil worshippers, and stressed-out few minimum wage workers. By treating these subjects and their concerns with the utmost seriousness, I try to develop, in the manner of William Blake or Tracy K. Smith, a collection that inhabits its own world and operates on its own principles. A witch bemoans a bourgeois god's breaking and entering; the last man in a post-apocalyptic Rome surveys his ruins; a young, monkish antique dealer gains enlightenment; a television recounts the horrific birth of the universe. Blending together lyric, narrative, and contemplative poetic styles, Crown of Planets is an experiment in tonal alteration and formal play. It is my attempt to generate a properly focused collection that remains in constant motion across emotional and poetic intensities.

Table of Contents

Fires in the Vineyard

Moving Days 2

Meditating Near the Osborn Railyard 4

Son of a Preacher Man 5

Science Fiction 6

Child Surgeon 7

Fly Me to the Moon 8

All the Hits 9

Fortune Tellers 10

Venusberg 11

Ransacked 12


Young Prayer 14

Annunciation 21

Saturnalia 22

When the Cops Come 23

Among the Sculptors 24

Jupiter Whistles 25

Sabbath 26

Duet 27

Earned the Crown 28

On Brutalism 29

Crowns into Plowshares

Garden 31

Exorcism 32

Antiqueland 33

A Bigger Splash 34

The Beauty of Surfaces 35

Tapestry Torso 36

Military History 37

The Good News 38

Aubade 40

About this Honors Thesis

Rights statement
  • Permission granted by the author to include this thesis or dissertation in this repository. All rights reserved by the author. Please contact the author for information regarding the reproduction and use of this thesis or dissertation.
  • English
Research Field
Committee Chair / Thesis Advisor
Committee Members
Last modified

Primary PDF

Supplemental Files