Sunday, October 3, 2010

On "Theories of Gravity" by Patrick Haas, "Courting in the Music Store" by John Grey, and "Cheekbones" by Wendy Pratt ****

Of late, when reading poetry, I've been returning more and more to imagery. Certainly imagery is the basis for many poems, but for a while it seemed as if my own poetic impulses had been focusing on the rhythm of the language itself--or on some kind of emotional connection. Here Haas's descriptions are so strong, however, that they have a kind of emotional tie of their own. I'll never think of eyes quite the same again--or of a dress in the wind. Read the poem here at Caffeine Destiny.

John Gray's poem doesn't deal as much with imagery as an idea, but many an interesting poem does just that. This one made me stop and think. Were I funny, well, it likely wouldn't matter. Why do we pick the inanimate object over the silly stranger? Read the poem here at Northville Review.

The body of contemporary poetry is full of free verse constituents, many of which use images to beautiful effect. "Cheekbones," however, is more formalist, using repeat lines and rhyme in a kind of villanelle (I didn't take the time to go find out which exact form the poem is mimicking, if any at all), and it uses the form to full effect. After all the poem is itself about mimicking in terms of ancestry. Nice to see someone working in a form so rarely used today--or used with such skill. Read the poem here at Snakeskin.

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