reality . This distance, between a work and reality, is essential to any art. The poem which begins,"Glossy reflec- tions catch my eye.. .," is a different mat: ter altogether. It is broken down into what might appear to be three totally unrelated stanzas, and is loaded with seemingly incongruous imagery . Perhaps this is true on a surface level, and indivi- duals accustomed to judging poetry on the basis of sound and color, had better make their comments and lay the poem aside. For I think it can successfully be demonstrated that the imagery, which may appear incongruous, really does work . Once this is shown , the validity of the stanzas breakdown can also be demonstrated. The images in the first stanza : glossy reflections, champagne, and Platonic oceans, work well together as literal images describing a scene, setting a stage. In the second stanza, the image of anti-ballistic tee pees is rather poor, main- ly because of the insertion of the term, "tee pees" since anti-ballistic seems to fit nicely with the image of gulls on tele- phone wires. I suppose one could say that the real question to be asked is, does the imagery work for the entire poem? How does it connect with the theme? Imagery implies direction , the images must be bending my insight toward some theme, some end. Many off-shoots of a single theme can be pointed to in the poem. For example , the theme of age and the aging process comes through when one associates the images of gulls, phoenix old champagne and clocks. The line "Gulls are a dying breed," when associated with the line "You are no phoenix, " is a powerful combination of ideas leading to or sug- gesting the impossibility of rebirth . As for anything more specific, which the poet does not offer us, we can only say that, after all, he is still the same searching poet who wrote "I sit and think," only he has given substance to his voice.
condition, it is reasonable to assume that persons involved in the critical end of lit- erature may tend to be suspicious of much con t emporary poetry , poetry which at once appears too individual, too much a tightly packed manufactured pro- duct, or seems to be the result of too much synthesis, and not enough analysis. This kind of poetry they would tend to shun in favor of poetry which would seem more natural, more a genuine recre - ation of human experience, and thus more credible. The problem is, most writing on a college level is often too hastily inserted into the first category . It would indeed be unfortunate if serious readers would be this hasty with Couillarde. Cooillarde is Elm Leaves' first literary effort of the semester. Featured on this broadside is an interesting combination of poetry by Doug Regan , Mike Regan, and Mike Sajecki (not to be confused or abused with this reviewer). Both Mike Regan and Doug Regan have had material published in Elm Leaves before, and Mike Sajecki displayed his own sensibilities on the Elm Leaves broadside , I Don 't Want To Die At Home. Together, the three of them demonstrate that a broadside is not merely a collection of poems on paper . While it is true that Cooillarde is one of the most unified broadsides we have seen in a long time , it is also true that each poet maintains his own identity , viewpoint, and style. Some of the style may seem put-on at first , but I contend that , for the most part , the style seems to work for itself. It would indeed be inac- curate to speak of the individual styles as superficial.
dynamics than Mike Sajecki's. Doug Regan also has an advantage in that he subordinates his imagery to the total movement of poem. "for us, " is probabl his best poem and a definite strong po · of the broadside. This poem provides us with a very interesting interplay of ten- sions, movements, and reciprocal relation- ships such as the contradictory relationship of the terms "braless" "breathless" "emptiness" on one hand, and " enveloping" on the other. First of all, in the movement from braless to emptiness, we have a definite movement from specific or concrete to abstract. Then this entire movement is played against the term "enveloping ", a paradox which, for me, is the main tension device of the poem and definitely one to be praised. We have further activity in the poem in the interplay between condensa- tion and saturation, which is again played upon in a most effective parallel with the terms "over," "under," "overriding," etc . Together these elements create a tightly written, most effective poem in its unity of form and content, the idea of "con- scription" with "an enveloping force called love." Mike Regan's poetry provides a re- freshing change from the sonic impulses of some of the poetry by the other two poets. His ·use of sensual imagery in the poem entitled "An Eastern Musical" and of color imagery in the poem "Rape" adds another dimension to an already heavy braodsi.de . In the poem "rape" the movement from "stripped the bronze girl," to "pictured the reddened results colored throughout the room," is a beau- tiful, well-designed poetic device. He has compressed an evocative sensuous image into two lines quite effectively. Other ex- amples of this type of imagery are , in the poem, "Eastern Musical," the image of "soft-bellied calling cards" or "tall jaded lawn ." To Mike Regan's advantage also is the fact that he is consistent in his use of imagery . Such words as "timbrel," "rococco," and "dragonfire" help to e- voke the mood he has in mind. Each of the poets on Couillarde has several outstanding poems to offer. I strongly suggest that we all disconnect our automatic literary pretense detectors, and listen carefully to what these poets are saying.
Mike Sajecki's poetry covers a wide range of territory, from the simplistic, soul searching lyric, "I sit and think...", to the seemingly cumbersome, complex poem which begins,"Glossy reflections catch my eye." Although the poem, "I sit and think," is in no way a strained poem, although it is credible enough, simple enough, to be effective, it lacks inventive- ness, texture. One can hardly see the dis- tinction in this work between poem and
The interesting thing about Doug Regan's poetry is that almost perceive the process by which the poem was arrived at, right on paper. His poems are, right away, more involved with process and 24
Made with FlippingBook Online newsletter