A Celebration of Poetry

I am still reveling in the afterglow of Sandra Kasturi’s collection of poems, The Animal Bridegroom.

I have forgotten how much I enjoy poetry, and I think, my roots in poetry along with that. When I was working on my BFA in writing I took a lot of poetry workshops and really developed a likening of the compressed meaning, the careful arrangement of words, and particularly enjambment in good poems. I mostly love the short lined poems with lots of punch. In fact my favorite poems have been but a few lines, poignantly spaced with masterful diction, like The Primer by Christina Davis (which can be found here).

Most of my exposure to poems came when I worked as an Editorial Assistant at Alice James Books. For two years, I was constantly exposed to tons of award winning poetry. But… But, almost none of it focused on the mythology that I loved, the fantastical visions and traditions that were firmly lodged in my mind. When I left that job, I found very little poetry that even caught my interest (I was also in grad school, which might have had something to do with it).

Then, one day when I was checking out ChiZine news I found it pimping The Animal Bridegroom (Sandra is on their staff). So, I like a lot of stuff this magazine/publisher puts out. The cover was intriguing to me. Two colors, sepia with white text and image: a frame of wild flowers and woodland creatures around a bride and groom. The Bride in traditional/folk garb and the groom a wolfman or foxman with a nice tailed-coat. So I clicked on the link to amazon and read some of the poems. I thought they were fantastic. But it cost about $13 so I put it in my favorites list for when I got a gift card or someone looked there for my birthday.

I didn’t have to wait that long. Short after my discovery and longing for these poems, my eyes spied that gorgeous cover at the ChiZine table at Readercon. I made a beeline for it. I was so focused on it; I almost missed the fact that Sandra herself was manning the table at the time.

So to get the embarrassment over quickly, I gushed in fannish glee for about two minutes while she signed my book (which was not $13 bucks at the table).

I kept the book in my to-read stack, which was on my desk and rather close at hand. So, for the last six months or so, I’d periodically thumb through and read a poem or a few lines. I enjoyed that, some quick hits of a good thing. I’d like to note here that it’s not so easy to do that with a novel.

But towards the end of 2010 I thought I should read it cover to cover, net it into my year. So I did.

The Animal Bridegroom is full of everything I love about poetry with all the mythological and folkloric references I could hope for. Short lines pried meaning out of folk archetypes applied to modern day. Old characters exemplified the harsh qualities of modern life. Fantastic images asked questions about humanity. There was even a poem about the gemstone amber, one of my favorite “stones.” One even asked some serious questions about what happened to Hansel and Gretel after they grew up. And others, well, I’d like to be friends with some of those characters.

I am still reveling in the afterglow of Sandra Kasturi’s collection of poems, The Animal Bridegroom.

Currently Reading
Scholarly: Wizardry & Wild Romance, A Study of Epic Fantasy – Michael Moorcock

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One thought on “A Celebration of Poetry

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