Friday, January 31, 2014

On "2 Poems" by E. Smith Sleigh on

2 poems by E. Smith Sleigh
E. Smith Sleigh on

it's been a while since i really delved into poetry.  sure, i've been dabbling.  and this might just be a spurt.  a sputter.  but i always like to pretend that i can put my poetess hat on at any given whim.

to help me feel better about poetry, about myself and poetry, i need to read some.

i've been involved with Vera Pavlova in the form of her book "If There Is Something To Desire" over the last week or so.  i may dare to share my thoughts on her work once i've read and reread it all a few times; although, i already have half of the pages earmarked.  i have a certain affinity, it would seem, with female russian poets.

if you know me on facebook, chances are high that you've received a message from asking for suggestions on more poetry books.  perhaps i'll start a regular (maybe monthly) poetry review here to go along with my mashpee chamber themed posts.

getting back to poetry... it's been a long time since i read chapbooks, e-zines, and other poets' blogs.  so a simple google search for online chapbooks lead me to a list of 12 beautiful online magazines.  first on the list... paper darts.  which is exactly where i found the two poems written by E. Smith Sleigh.
upon first reading the poems, in the format they appeared on my phone, i approached them wanting very much to like them both.  before i reread, i decide i like the first one much better, but i cannot decide why yet.
upon a second reading, i think the cherry pie mention is mostly what swings my bias, but i also realize that by the time i am mid-way through the second poem, i have figured out the alliteration game and find it less interesting than the first poem.
not to say i don't like the second one.  the first one, the second one, let's give them names.
E's first poem is called "medieval metal music".  in it, E breaks down structure with his own structure and with the content of the poem.  the format of the poem is an appeasing square, but within it the reader must rely on gaps without punctuation or line breaks for breath.  thus, emphasizing the content of the poem, the structure lends itself directly to the poem's purpose.  and leaving the structure of a stream-of-conscious style poem, cherry pie. 
where "medieval metal music" is unpredictable, with just enough new turns to keep me interested by not lost, "rising waters" strikes me as somewhat more childish with its "invisible dark matter   dark
matters   madder than a hatter  chic tam" ramblings.
however, this somewhat rambling predictability is in cool contrast with "medieval metal music" which relies on the reader's inevitable frustration with current music genre titles.  instead, "rising waters" is nature. 
structure vs nature.
i get it. i buy it. i read it again.
man makes cherry pie out of structures.  nature makes us go back inside where it's warm and dry and we can't be taken by the flood for our tribute to the structures we've created.  these two poems, the more i shift around inside them, become a debate between each other.  the value of human society in contrast with the natural order.

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