Wednesday, May 8, 2013


Poet Gillian Prew has a new chapbook out from Lapwing Publications, and it can be ordered from this page:

Throats Full of Graves

On that webpage, you will encounter a review of the new chapbook. It's concerned with the poems' thematic material and its philosophical evaluation. Most reviews of poetry are concerned with conceptual substance. I wish to take a different tack or maybe an auxiliary tangent.

Reading those excerpted parts of poems on the above webpage, one can enter an aesthetic, in addition to a conceptual experience. In the hands of the most gifted poets, more than a stated or inferred meaning is possible. A condition might occur in which language emerges from a different aspect of itself -- a condition akin to the mysterious effects of music.

Reading those excerpted parts of poems, you will be struck by the perfection of utterance as such. The words are measured out across lines with the same kind of artistic flair one finds beautifully registered in a Chopin nocturne or Debussy prelude. Each note (word) and phrase are placed according to some instinctive sense of saying, a mysterious connection to language and its way of becoming art.

I think language sometimes wants to tell us things beyond the horizons of concept, perspective, and attitude. I think language has a long, mystical memory, and through certain "mediums" -- like Ezra Pound or Dylan Thomas -- it might exteriorize its musical dreamings. When I read a Gillian Prew poem, I am taken toward a wonderment of language as such.

With the rare poet, words and lines take on deepening hues and energies, with the conceptual giving way to the aesthetic. Conception is thus subsumed in or enhanced by mood, aura, and complex  felt an implicit music.

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