A few days ago I went to a poetry gig in Brunswick, and a little while later I left. Between those two unremarkable events I ran into Geoff Lemon selling copies of his book Sunblind, so I got one for myself.
Flicking through the poems, I found they were written in free verse, which I dislike; and that they were about things like driving and nature, which I'm mostly indifferent to. I summarily concluded that I didn't like the style and I didn't like the ideas, but I did like the poems. This seemed to mean that I disliked everything about the poetry except the poetry. This would never do...
Rereading the book closely, I found a few poems which flabbergasted me. Geoff had an occasional gift for writing free verse that had the easy grace and music of a traditional rhymed poem or structured lyric. (There's only one obvious lyric form in Sunblind, a ghazal.) I was really goggling at the two poems Foxes, and Working in Wood. Like sestinas or villanelles, they seemed to use repeated words to terminate line endings, but unlike sestinas or villanelles, those repeated words didn't seem to be arranged in any specific form. I actually made plenty of marks on my book beside these two poems and stared at them for a good half hour trying to work out if, despite appearances, Geoff was using a specific form.
All very disturbing for me, to come across a modern performance poet who actually seems aware of established poetic forms, and capable enough not to write in them while still producing good poetry. I hadn't thought such a person existed.
I'm not going to go writing free verse or anything, though. I like a good rhyme too much. And I do still wonder why the one exception in Sunblind to Geoff's preference for free verse is a ghazal. (Nowadays, almost the only verse form that most people know of and are able to write in is a Japanese haiku.) Are verse forms only acceptable when they're exotic?
Still, I ended up liking Sunblind after all. Such was my perplexity at this little volume of poems, though, that I still don't think I'm able to write a review of it. And this isn't that review.
You can get a copy of Sunblind by contacting Geoff or maybe Picaro Press.
UPDATE! - Just got feedback (mmmm, feeeeeeeed) from Geoff informing me that Working in Wood is a pantoum. There goes any cred I had with the poetic forms...
Tim, your links stink, you fink!
- John Bangsund's Threepenny Planet
- Broken Biro
- Poetry 24
- Superlative scribbles
- Kirstyn McD!
- Rorrim a tsomla almost a mirror
- More Sterne
- Cam the man from the Dan.
- Too hot to Raaaaaaandallllllll!
- Erin's Excellently Everlasting Effervescements!
- Slammy Infamy
- Hail Paco!
- Baron Blandwagon, purveyor of cyberbunnies, hawker of Roger Corman, and Misruler of the Multiverse
- The Bolta. Aiyeeeeee!!!!!
- Bad Apple Audrey
- The cartoon church
- Sir Martinkus
- A Zemblanian abroad and at home
- A hodge podge of hotzeplotz
- THE SLAMMA!
- Jottlesby's nottings, or should that be Nottlesby's jottings?
- The Snarking of the Hunt
- Jazzy Hands
- David of Metal City
- David the Barista
- The Blogger on the Cast Iron Balcony
- Be an Opinion Dominion Minion!
- ... and Fel
- His brilliant career - from whale sushi to crumbed prawn
- Jo Blogs
- Yet another Tim
- Was two peas, now three peas
- ... Still Life - now with extra rotating cats!
- An Amazingly Awesome Australian Ampersand!
- Blink and you'll miss 'er
- Red in the land of the tigers!
- Wire of Vibe
- Chase him, ladies, he's in the cavalry!
- The Non-palindromical Editrix in Germanium
- Old Sterne
- The briefs...
- ... and the brieflets
- The Purple Blog
- Blairville, lair of all that is wicked and perfidious
- The enticingly acronymical CSH
- EXTREEEEEEEME WYNTER!
- Mark of California
- Silent Speaking
- Lexicon the Mexican
- ► 2014 (127)
- ► 2013 (173)
- ► 2012 (275)
- ► 2011 (261)
- ► 2010 (288)
- ► 2009 (290)
- Things I did on my holidays, by Timothy H Train
- Important political post!
- Idle Novocastrian notes
- Unsolicited dog photographs
- Naughty Santa
- Words which I use incorrectly
- Ancient people you can relate to
- Tongue twister
- The Christmas that ate Christmas
- Getting into the spirits, getting into the seasoni...
- The difference between 'think' and 'tell'
- Out of Zeit, out of Geist
- Aspirational junk food
- This is not a review
- All I want for Christmas is my teeth ripped out of...
- Nasal gazing
- Everyone talks to themselves, don't they?
- Better the Minogue than the Maxogue
- Comments with no post...
- How to philander, one pat at a time
- The tap dancing won me over
- Very absent voters
- Cat of destruction!
- Utter flapdoodle!
- Creative uses of modern environmental concepts!
- His finest hour
- ▼ December (28)
- ► 2007 (392)
- ► 2006 (373)
- ► 2005 (287)