"The Witness" can be viewed as Clinton F. Larson's poetic manifesto that points the direction for much of his subsequent work. Although his poetic "mormonism" has been questioned by several of his critics, this thesis shows that Larson definitely expresses his Mormon faith in "The Witness" as a metaphorical quest for mythic consciousness. While searching in the poem for sacred space and time, Larson seeks to become closer to the divine and powerful center of being, creating at once a metaphor for his quest to understand and assimilate Christ's atonement and a poetic voice from which he can speak for and of God.
It is from this imagined pinnacle as poet-prophet that Larson seeks to establish a Mormon poetic that boasts a Mormon "restoration" structure analagous to the Catholic "epiphanous" structure characteristic of much of Joyce's and O'Conner's work.
College and Department
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Perry, Dennis R., "Clinton Larson's "the Witness": the Quest for a Mormon Mythic Consciousness" (1981). All Theses and Dissertations. 5032.
Clinton F. Larson, 1919-, Witness, Criticism, interpretation