Happy New Year!!!
It being the holidays and me being away from home, I decided to do things a little differently this time around. I usually just wander around the internet in search of new speculative poetry or interesting random things about speculative poetry. However, I didn’t really have time to do that, so I wrote a tweet, which copied to FaceBook and put out a call for work published since mid-November. I got several responses, which you’ll see below.
I did find one interesting random thing:
Poetry, by Isaac Asimov http://www.asimovs.com/_issue_0506/editorial.shtml
I’m not sure when this essay was written, but its copyright is from 2005. Didn’t Asimov die in 1992? Anyway, I was interested in what he had to say.
Asimov says that modern poetry might have a distinct advantage by removing the shackles of rhyme and meter. But then he lists a number of DISadvantages. This one struck me as simply not true. What do you think?
“3) It isn’t quotable. The absence of rhythm and rhyme; the juxtaposition of words not for beauty of sound but for depth of meaning–makes the poem hard to memorize, hard to recite, and hard to listen to. While none of this diminishes the essential value of the poem, it does diminish the casual pleasure in it.”
I disagree. While it may be easier to memorize rhymed poetry for some people (but not for me!), I don’t believe all free verse to be free of rhythm or free of “beauty of sound”. Some, but not all, is certainly more difficult to recite, but it certainly isn’t any harder to listen to.
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One of my all-time favorite modern poets, Ann K. Schwader, is also one of the foremost Lovecraftian poets of our time. Her most recent collection, “Twisted in Dream”, is page after page of weird poetry. I haven’t been able to appreciate it until recently, because it was only recently that I started familiarizing myself with the Lovecraft Mythos and all that is associated with it. If you are unfamiliar with it, it is vast. And so much fun. I will definitely be reviewing “Twisted in Dream” one day (it’s a big book!), but in the meantime here is a new poem by Ann in the Lovecraft eZine from last week. It is beautiful and dark and Ann uses her usual formality to increase the sense of dread and the beautiful language. The artwork, featured here as well, is by Lee Copeland and is perfect! The subject matter was unfamiliar to me, but I discovered a whole new branch of Lovecraftian lore in the process. Thanks, Ann!
The Winds of Sesqua Valley
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David C. Kopaska-Merkel is the current president of the Science Fiction Poetr
y Association and another poet whose work I have enjoyed immensely. His poetry journal “Dreams & Nightmares” is one of the longest running speculative poetry journals. He recently started uploading PDFs of all the back issues and you can buy individual issues for a buck ($1) each. He also offers eSubscriptions. Have a look at the Ordering page for Dreams & Nightmares. David writes a
poem or Haiku a day, sometimes more than one. Here are a couple of his favorites:
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Beth Cato is a poet (and a writer) I discovered during my tenure as chairperson of the SFPA poetry contest in 2012. I’ve enjoyed her work very much. The first poem here spoke to me personally.
“100% Love” at New Myths
“First Fog” at Polu Texni
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Dennis M. Lane, writer, poet and fellow Sofanaut (i.e. StarShipSofa contributor) pointed me toward The Ghazal Page’s Speculative Ghazal Challenge. He and 5 other poets took up the challenge to create a Ghazal poem on a speculative theme.
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Lisa M. Bradley, is one of the most generous, kind and enthusiastic people I’ve met on the interwebs. And she lives in Iowa! What’s not to like? You can read her work on Stone Telling, Strange Horizons and others. She sent me this poem published on Lakeside Circus:
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Bruce Boston, pointed me toward Silver Blade, edited by John C. Mannone. Bruce is the featured poet in this issue but there is also wonderful poetry by 4 other poets as well: F.J. Bergmann, William Doreski, James Hutchings, and Clyde Kessler.
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One last: Brian Garrison says this poem in Canto Magazine isn’t really speculative, but you know what? I don’t care! It’s a lovely poem that speaks to me, so here you are: Blossomed
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That’ll do it for this fortnight. I hope you enjoy this month’s round-up offerings and that they have led you down some nice rabbit holes.
Next time I hope to have a review of some British Science Fiction poetry for you!