Thursday, July 31, 2014

peaceful waves

Bathgate's reviewer never mentions rhymes. The poem as a poem -- as a mechanism of language -- is almost concealed from the person who reads the review, aside from the mention of “lines which are both wise and true.” What's a line like when it's wise and true? The meaning matters to him, not the form. A poem can do two things in this review: it can introduce you to characters and it can describe landscape. It would be indistinguishable from prose if it didn't have those “lines.” The reviewer quotes from Ivan Graeme.

The glossy kine browse lazily,
Or on the grass repose.
The grey-duck swims so warily
In pool where raupo grows:
While from the sea there swiftly comes
The black-capped, long-winged tern;
The drowsy blue-fly heavy hums
Among the russet fern.
The wide Pacific's peaceful waves
Are scarce heard from the shore,
Save where a dark cliff's feet it laves
With distant muffled roar.

He likes the kind of poem that could be described as an “immersive experience,” smooth, jerkless, joltless, giving him the beautiful feeling of flying through the pages -- which is the style that Bathgate pursues; and so the reviewer doesn't describe it, he doesn't need to, it's the warm water in which he's lying; he looks up.

No comments:

Post a Comment