Thursday, March 20, 2008

Review by David McLean

Dylan Garcia-Wahl's All that comes of Madden'd Days
Review by David McLean

Garcia-Wahl's book was published in 2004. It shows a refreshing disregard for poetic fashion which is rather congenial in that I myself do not care for fashion, do not care for trends. The very apostrophe in the title shows that, verily, this man is not worried by archaisms, in their place.

Interestingly, the tendency is metaphysical, not in the philosophical sense, but in the sense of the metaphysical poets. The most striking addendum to that intellectual repertoire is the buddhist influence one detects in many if not all the poems, though the ethos is fundamentally Christian. Perhaps the aesthetic Christianity of many Englishmen a few years ago, not the theologically grounded actual belief in God.

This book contains many gems. There's a delightful “Elegy for Kral Majales” and many excellent poems, like Narcissus asleep”

“No lover to pair this languid shape
Eyes blanketed, lips pulled tight
to protect the rumble within
Collapsing to wax
having wrapped an oblivion in scars”

The English in general is more correct than one sees in modern peoms, more carefully wrought. Better, maybe, is the word. The series of sonnets “Beseech the Island Calmly” is also exquisitely written. Here as elsewhere a balance is struck between the intorverted tone that comes from Rilke, whose influence here can be discerned I think, and the more descriptive and objective tone of American poetry in general.

Basically the poetry in this book is the best sort, that which aspires to say it as it really is, not socio-political commetary, but a relatedness to amn's fundamental position, the anxiety we are by birth, and its resolution. In nihilism for me, in faith for Dylan. As he says

“Perhaps we need to suffocate
in order to breathe again”

In many ways these poems start to add a new voice to the tradition of verse that is more or less forgotten in the USA. It is with some interest that one awaits the continuation of Garcia-Wahl's development.

Author bio:

David McLean has an e-chapbook at Why Vandalism?, and a chapbook on sale at Erbacce Press at Erbacce Press. He has a full length poetry collection forthcoming at Whistling Shade Press out in May 2008. He has a second full length due out from d/e/a/d/b/e/a/t/ press later this year. Their details are at Deadbeat Press. There are round 500 poems now in, or forthcoming in, just over 210 magazines online and/or in print. Details are at his blog at Mourning Abortion.

Author announcement:

News for poetry lovers is that a new press has opened in the USA called d/e/a/db/e/a/t press. It's masterminded by Jack Henry, poet, who has a chapbook available there, and reviewed in this issue of Clockwise Cat by our astute and sexy contributor David McLean, who himself has a collection of poetry forthcoming with them later this year, called he knows not what as yet. Rob Plath, who has also featured in these pages and tried to touch angels inappropriately in a vision of heaven, has a memoir forthcoming later. Details of their whole schedule are at Deadbeat Press.

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