Thursday, November 08, 2007

Sonatina. by johnmichael simon Review by Hugh Fox.

By Johnmichael Simon
2007; 86pp;Ps; Ibbetson
Street Press, 25 School
Street, Somerville, MA

To order:

Simon’s poetry is a fascinating blend of the quotidian and the horrific. Some of the poems are heavily realistic throughout. Like “Age is Heavy on the Ground”: “Age is heavy on the ground/alongside the pansies and begonia/the fuchsia and snapdragons.../Age is heavy on the ground/from flower to fruit/to candle glow on silverware and china//Age is heavy on the ground/weightless as a butterfly.” (p.33) A very on-target poem about human mortality. In “Night Dies over the City,” at the beginning it sounds simply like a description of night-workers getting up, but slowly we move to a nicely chosen star metaphor for death: “...somewhere in the heavens/the darkness parts/as a falling meteroite/ burns itself to death.” (p.16) In “Fruit Trees in the Mist” “...the witches rule these slopes/raising the wind, curling their fingernails,” as Simon rushes home “...a rain dream that once again I am a tree/dancing with those witches in the rain.” (pp.46-47) As Jendi Reiter notes on the back cover “childhood delights are interwoven with the...reflections of an older man making peace with mortality.” And throughout, very effectively done. Very effective meditations on mankind skimming through Time.

Hugh Fox/Ibbetson Update

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