A nice mix of poetic forms and subjects graces A. F. Stewart’s Reflection of Poetry. Since I’m not a poet, I sometimes wish the author would tell us the forms. But there’s much to enjoy for a mathematician and wordsmith in recognizing patterns of rhythm and rhyme, and A. F. Stewart shows pleasing mastery of many patterns.
Poems ebb and flow with well-balanced structure and melody. Rhymes from Scotland to the Emerald Isle blend a cool mix of ethereal charm and gleeful gruesomeness. In a section of lunar-inspired poems I particularly enjoyed Bringing Down the Moon: “The Wind of the Moon / calls the untamed heart” says one line, and earlier “We have crowned her / Queen of the dark.”
Seasons pass in beautiful words, but my favorite poems are those inspired by works of art, particularly Starry Night Over the Rhone, by Vincent van Gogh, where the form’s repeated lines haunt the reader just as much as the painting does. There’s lyrical storytelling in science fiction themed poems, with fascinating questions to inspire the reader: “Infinitessimal / in quantum / mechanical speed. / Do you wonder if they bleed?” the author asks of atomic particles. But TV heroes have their questions too, in a doctor’s blue box or a Game of Thrones perhaps.
Blending pathos with humor, gruesome scares with laughter, and complex form with gorgeous imagery, this collection has something for everyone.
Disclosure: I bought a copy while it was free.