Friday, January 27, 2006

The Daily Poetry Show: Vacillation Alley

Hibernaculum by Bridget Cross
This is OK I guess. It’s a curious admixture of wit, ramble, preciosity, and formula. Some things I like. Some things I dislike. Some things I vacillate on. For every “a million people are saying my name / in the sub rosa supper club,” there’s a “Hadn’t I so much to say about talking / and difficulty and remembering / loving something?” Not my kettle of tea I guess. Two snaps.

Nutmeg Song by Samuel Amadon:
I liked Amadon’s previous offering. Not so much this one. Although the language is tight. And the lines are alive and doing well. And a sonnet of couplets to boot with an interesting Petrarch meets Shakespeare rhyme scheme. But somewhere, maybe line 4, it goes south on me. Who cares about Henry? It does come back north for the sestet though. I just talked myself into liking this one better than the first few readings. So two and a half snaps.

The Guru by A. F. Moritz
This poem had me for the first 12 lines. It’s an ancient story told by a pragmatist. And it builds into some downright dangerous language: “Though they've made a rope / out of rough, heavy smoke, like a whale-thick hawser / for a steamer of dead star, and pulled it through you / from throat to crotch”. Ouch! But then the rope goes slack with a passive enjambment towards line 13. The next three lines try to pick up the steam. But again things die, this time with too much explanation “That is, not die in confusion.” That is, why did the poet just interrupt? So let’s try an old trick to quicken the pace again. Maybe. Maybe. Maybe. Maybe. And it almost succeeds. But the penultimate line fails miserably with the weakest tongue yet, and by the end, more than just the guru feels the pain. Two and a half snaps.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How cool are those snapping fingers...