intense sensations

Poems are a gift that should not be valued lightly

Posted on: October 15, 2011

30 Poems, 30 Days: Inside a Poet’s Mind by A.D. Joyce

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)

you can
pick up the
reddest apple on
touch it turn
it around
inspect it for
marks or bruises
but biting
is the only
way to
really know

“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.


20 Responses to "Poems are a gift that should not be valued lightly"

someone gave me 30 days of night that was scary

Wow, your comment came so fast I thought it must be spam but I see I was just being paranoid. I am on edge tonight.

why are you on edge? is it because you reviewed poetry? I understand paranoia.

No, poetry is calming. Writing about it relaxes me and cleanses my mind. I am on edge because there are so many things I want to do and the weekend is very short.

People won’t die from a lack of poetry.

But, many will never really live full lives, for lack of it.

aplogies, the correct twitter account for the above post is:

No problem. I have you on my radar. 🙂

Hey, I finally got around to reading your blog. I’m glad I did. It improved the flow of blood to my brain just like you said. I like your boldness. You are right, it is very hard to review poetry and you’ve done a great job.

LOL! I was only teasing about the flow of blood to your brain.

You have written a great review on poetry. This is not an easy task, well done.

[…] intense sensations Bound & Determined to Find a Good Read […]

You can pick the brightest poem on display
The reddest poem to be seen
Juicy with the flow of sin
Painful as the lash
Dark as a lover’s bite
Have you felt the night
How it holds you captive
Binding you in heady pain
Grinding your thoughts
Blinding your eyes
Past the flickering moon
Through the startled sun
Deep down and deeper
To that Black hole
Full of blood’s pleasure
Is this the brightest poem on display
The one you were seeking
The one that sways across the room
Laying madly in dark shadows
Awaiting your savage eyes.
yamabuki Zhou

Thank you, Yamabuki, for a startling contribution. Your poem led me to your blog, which led me to an excellent literary zine. I will revisit both when my eyes are less savage and I’m not in the middle of cooking dinner.

Savor your dinner of course
I await your pleasure
Your savage eyes and bolder words
Display your wicked thoughts
For this dark shadowed Fool
Fool as in the Tarot
Who may like the joker
Show you many faces
Even as I walk the cliff’s edge
On my journey towards death.
yamabuki Zhou

My thoughts aren’t wicked. Never!

wicked in the good sense of the word

Words are so complicated 😉

from online slang dictionary:
wicked adjective
very good, excellent; “cool”; “awesome”.
Yes words are wicked complicated.
Words are devilishly tricky
This is the delight and bane of poets
Writers too must take care
If I say you are excellent writer
It does not give you credit for
The power of your writing
The Edginess of your writing
The Sexiness of your writing
If I say you are wicked writer
It comes closer to what I wish to say
We as writers all learn from each other
My initial poem that i published to my web site
Was based both on the piece you wrote on this web page
And on your sample of “Love has no limits”
These engaged my dark Scorpio energies
So I have you to thank for my poem.
And thanks for the comment on my site
The photo is from a rather powerful artist
Hazel Dooney, who graciously let me use it
She is on twitter @DooneyStudio
yamabuki Zhou

We are going to run out of commenting space soon, Yamabuki. I like your poems. I could see the connection with Sweepy Jean’s poem but I wondered where the darker things came from me. From me? I’m shocked. I’m so sweet! Oh, but then there is that thing I wrote. I can’t deny it. It’s wicked all right. 😉

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