One of my favorite poems in the issue is “Immortal’s Lament,” which is more formal than others in the collection, with the rhythm and flow of a song. It’s seven stanzas of seven lines, with rhymed 3rd & 5th lines, each 7th line ending with the word, “living.” It skillfully describes the pathos of an immortal having outlived life on earth in an orbital capsule. It’s one of those kinds of poems that you keep reading aloud again and again just to hear the sound of it. I’d actually love to sing this one if someone would write some music for it.
I’m also very fond of their poem, “Mythic Delirium,” which appeared coincidentally enough in Mythic Delirium #10, Winter/Spring 2004. It also has a musical flow with unexpected rhyme punctuating lines here and there. The first part forms a wonderful litany of fantasy tropes – trolls, banshees, dragons, elves, talking trees, knights, as the second part of the poem moves the reader into science fiction tropes while still referencing dreams to the dragons, quests, castles of fantasy. Part iii is the epilogue where the reader realizes that the poem is about a writer who “…at end of days/When I’ve unmade all I had wrought”, then saves his files, “depicting things not of this world/Or yet the next, /I’ll lose that madness which inspired/delirium/And return, myself, at last.”
There are other poetry jewels here, all of it much longer than the stuff I usually read, but worthwhile – if I could change anything in this book, it might be the first poem, a nice piece on time-travel which I think would be utterly fantastic if it ended on the first page at the lines, “this fossil time in which I tarry,/where I am no one,/no one at all,/just like these phantoms here.” Although I like the poem with the second and third pages intact, I would have loved it if it had ended here. I think the first page, when considered alone next to the artwork by Angela Mark, is stunning.
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