Poems are a gift that should not be valued lightly
Posted October 15, 2011on:
It’s surprising what comes to you out of the blue sometimes.
At the beginning of this month I received this book of poems by A.D. Joyce. They are a gift not just to me but to the world. The poet asked me if I would like to review them. I read them and said, yes, I would.
I wrote yesterday that poetry is very hard to review. That post was partly to establish my credentials. I have never reviewed poetry before. But I would like you to take my review seriously.
These poems are free but they are not to be valued lightly. I have read them with pleasure, read them for comfort and read them with tears in my eyes. They are short but they show an extraordinary range. Some are funny, some are light, some are sexy and some make you think. There is a weight of emotion in some of them that, as in much great poetry, lies “too deep for tears.”
Let me share just one of them with you.
Sensation (Day 19)
pick up the
reddest apple on
touch it turn
inspect it for
marks or bruises
is the only
“This poem,” says the poet, “is about the danger of taking chances and the need to take chances.”
I like it for many reasons.
First, it is about sensation, one of my favourite things. And it has a very physical quality, which is achieved through a subtle use of enjambement (yes, you see, I know the technical terms).
Secondly, it reminds me of how I approach my self-imposed task of reviewing books. Covers, reviews, blurbs and blogs are all wax and polish. What you’ve got to do is start reading. Bite. That’s the only way you know if a book has substance.
Thirdly, it is about the creative life. Try writing a poem a day for 30 days as this poet did. Don’t think about it. Don’t prevaricate. Just begin. Once you start writing, without waiting for inspiration, you’ll be amazed at what you discover. The imagination is an infinite resource.
And, finally, it is about life. Bite. It is a very double-edged metaphor. Sometimes you need courage to bite because some people, some things, life itself, bite back.
A.D. Joyce is a poet/writer/editor living in New Jersey. Her blog, Sweepy Jean Explores the (Webby) World, showcases her poetry and discusses topics such as the writing life, women’s issues, and personal observations.