which will tip the scales

Graduation Year


Publication Date

Spring 2020


At the request of the author, this paper is not available for download. Bona fide researchers may consult it by visiting the University Archives in Tate Archives & Special Collections; contact archives@iwu.edu for details.


On the morning of November 20, 2014, my father, David Michael Whitfield, suffered a sudden and fatal heart attack. Before that, he lived a wonderful, invaluable life, in which he enriched and brightened up the lives of everyone in his various communities, whether it be with friends, with family, with business, or his neighborhood. Along with my mother, he taught my siblings and me what unconditional and irreplaceable love looked and felt like. He worked tirelessly for his family for most of his life, deciding only to step away from his work in order to ensure that he had time to spend with those he loved. After both his life and death, however, my life and the lives of all the people he had an impact on, of course, continue. This project explores the concept of grief, what sort of legacy is left in the wake of a major loss, and immortalizing memories of someone or something that is no longer there. Furthermore, in this preface, I will discuss the life and impact of my father, the tradition of elegy and elegiac writing, and how I engage with those two through my poetry.


English Language and Literature

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