Real-Time Review continued from HERE.
THE RESULTS OF MY READING OF STAR KITES by Mark Valentine WILL BE SHOWN BELOW IN THE COMMENTS TO THIS POST AS AND WHEN I READ THE WORKS IN THE ORDER THEY ARE PRINTED, WHILE HOPING TO GARNER THEIR GESTALT.
“…in dim and dented tins”
For those who have read this earlier blog post of mine – My Love Affair With Marble Racing – will know how much this poem will mean to me.
And this seems to transport me back nostalgically to those early obsessive days of my life (even retrocausally) as well as transport my love of Mark Valentine prose into the enjambement of ‘global’ ricochet. Modern poetry about now unmodern days with words cannoning off each other’s meaning.
“The rules of ‘scare’…”
Still unrhyming enjambement, yet simpler words than in ‘Marbles’, again powerfully conveying the nostalgic days of my youth, with one of those benighted children’s games that, I now feel, grew up almost autonomously like skipping rhymes and onion songs that kids knew not whence they came but they knew them anyway.
[Yesterday, fortuitously, in my review of ‘Onion Songs’ I did ‘shuffle’ the letters in “Rasnic Tem” into ‘Met in Scare’.]
“ready for the next”
…pray ready for a short Ted Hughes poem about a stoat or buzzard … or kite.
Prey or Pray, Stoat or Star?
“tugged at the boys’ bared heads.”
An astonishingly oblique poetic stab at boyhood ambitions to reach the stars. Eagle comic, notwithstanding.
[cf my own stab from some years ago: I’ll Take Them On A Dream Ride.]
“of a book. Of stone.”
Atmospheric journey through a house seeing oneself in the ‘panes’ or pains…
”There are faces made for moonlight. There are faces created to respond to the wind. There are faces for sandy deserts, for lonely seashores, for solitary headlands, for misty dawns, for frosty midnights. Cordelia’s face was made for rain. It had nothing in it that was normally beautiful; and yet it became at this moment the living incarnation of all those long hours when rain had mingled with her secretest hopes. Her face was charged with the rain that had streamed down the window-panes at Cardiff Villa, twilight after twilight, while her thoughts had been flying far away; far over dripping forests, far over swollen rivers to green-black castle walls of which she fancied herself the mistress or the captive.” – from ‘The Glastonbury Romance’ by John Cowper Powys.
Many of these poems by Mark Valentine are quite short, but they continue to help resonate with other books, other pictures…as all good poems do.
“…the stone door.”
Wait or weight? This miniature censer of a poem has more than the previous poems of what I imagine is the Mark Valentine soul – judging by much of his prose fiction I’ve already read – completed by an exquisite ‘dying fall’ or ‘lament’ or ‘chaconne’ end-line.
[In case it becomes relevant to the universal gestalt during the course of this review, I confirm that I am simultaneously and quite coincidentally real-time reviewing two other books here and here.]
Again or a gain? A gain from retrocausality that has figured much in my reviews and in my own work – here seeming to tie circularly the nostalgia at the beginning of this book with the aspirational adventure of the star kites and now with the nostalgia of when I was an old man. Yet the poem’s last line in italics shows that we still have far to go – in life … as well as in this book when further lessons will be learnt via the rarefication, rarefiction of poetry or versions of poetry.
“…from the lunar tide.”
I sense ‘the oldest god’, so called here, increasingly resides in these poems as they develop. Here ‘compass’ resonates with both potential expanse of containment as well as direction-finding, even though the poem needs several readings, I feel, without yet getting to its own expanse or direction.
Perhaps this book’s later poems will lend a clue: poems that, so far, seem to need relatively lengthy appreciation ‘passages’ – such as mine here, i.e. lengthier than the poems they are appreciating!
…predicting the scrying of a false real-time reviewer who slowly turns this book’s pages…
An impossible concept of a half-god, itself split in two by the poem’s lines. I am but a half-real time reviewer.
But able to recognise a dreamy spell at work in words, making anything possible, after all.
For Robert Lacey
“in a book’s embrace,”
An exquisite poem. A chaconne or dying fall as a petal between the pages, pages that make things seem different… Here we have the setting as all rather than the thing itself, which makes an ebook seem inadvisable for books of this type.
[Regarding the previous poem, the Facebook discussion so far on the concept of ‘half-god’:
DFL: Can there be such a thing as a half-god?
DT: yeah their called saint’s.
PM: Percy Jackson…
TL: Rock stars?
WM: There were all those ones that Zeus fathered on mortal women…
MD: I’d think so, yes. There’s a lot of power in modern chainsaws.
DFL; But with any taint of mortality can you be anything but a mortal?
SS: Hercules – demi-god
MJ: Verlaine referred to Rimbaud as “dieu parmi les demi-dieux.” So yes, because Verlaine could do no wrong.]
Perhaps words themselves are star-kites…?
THIS Real-Time REVIEW NOW CONTINUES HERE.
THE FOUR PARTS OF THE STAR KITES REVIEW:
https://nullimmortalis.wordpress.com/13396-2/ (this one)
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