Thursday, January 26, 2006

Daily Reviews on Daily Poems from Daily Sites

I’m going to start a somewhat daily very brief review of poems that appear on three daily poem sites: Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, and No Tell Motel. Not to stereotype, but these three sites should give a pretty good view of mainstream, formal, and avant poetry.

This is a purely personal project and my opinions (and they will be opinions and not some academic critiques) will attempt to discover what I like and dislike about the poems in question. I’m not concerned with the bigger picture of poetics and the grand historical march of Poetry with a capital P. I’m only concerned with the rhythm and blues of them all. And most importantly, what tricks can I steal (and what baggage should I leave behind).
First, Living Sacrifices by Alfred Corn:
Shakespearian undertone used without irony to lend the poem stature doesn’t work for me. It leads to me to question the high tone of language, and the overall attempt at profundity. I do like “power surges of self and self / and self” though. I’ll give it 2 finger snaps (of a possible 5).

The Dark Pelican by C. J. Sage:
I love pelicans and I should love this poem. And I love blank verse, even very loose pentameter verse (albeit an hexameter ending couplet). I think why it ultimately fails is the uneasy imbalance between naturalistic language and the “poetic.” This line especially: “On the foggy screen of saltspray how they scribble.” Too cute for its own good. And finally what’s with the tetrameter fourth line: “the seawall. Between the arching ribs.” I am very disappointed. One finger-snap! (Normally I’d give something like this two, but I love pelicans and was so very, as I said and now repeat, disappointed.)

Aspic Heart by Samuel Amadon
Toilet humor in the cause of innocence lost. I love this line: “hole. The world was once an apple clearly,” That hole of course literally finishes off the whole indigestion of the previous 8.4 lines with open dispatch. Great use of language and intimation. But a poet’s poem maybe too much though (although that’s the very nature of this kind of fare [some may say crap]). Still, 3 finger snaps.

4 comments:

Reb said...

I look forward to reading your reviews!

Julie Carter said...

Enjoyed these reviews, and your rating scale.

I know what you mean about liking a poem less because you're disappointed with the way it handles a subject you like.

Four snaps for your post. I need to leave an extra snap in case you blow me away later.

Greg said...

Thanks Reb.
Thanks Julie. I know exactly what you mean concerning the conservation of finger-snaps. I'm doing the same.

C. Dale said...

I like the rating sytem, the snaps.