Monday, April 5, 2010

Poetry Magazine USA

Just got the April issue of the US Poetry Magazine. Over the years I've subscribed to quite a few magazines but with the recession and retirement I've had to cut down the number. I like this one though. It doesn't threaten you. It doesn't feel like a "journal of record". It seems to publish a wide range of styles and indeed quite a few Irish poets have featured in its pages.

This issue is called The Q and A issue. I haven't seen a previous similar issue. The idea is that the editors ask the published poets questions about their poems and print the Q and A after the poems. It works well and makes a nice feature though I had to stop myself reading the Q and A first before I read the poem.

The questions are well thought out. Poets don't mind being asked about a poem so long as they are not asked What does it mean? or even worse What is this poem about?

None of the poets in this issue were familiar to me. The poem which interested me most was by Donald Revell and was entitled Homage to John Frederick Peto. Peto we learn in the Q and A was an American artist (1854-1907). The final stanza of the poem is, to my mind, striking with that quality of simple language and phrases expressing something not quite within reach:

Creation’s a funny word.
I think of noises rounding a corner
Becoming names, and then a child for each
Of the names climbs down the sun.
Creation’s the soul of haphazard.
I was old. I was young. I was old again.
Anymore Johnny, all I feel is fine.

The questioner did ask about the first and last lines of this stanza.

You can read the full issue here.

1 comment:

P Nolan said...

Their regular podcast, complemementing each issue, is usually worth a listen too: