Upon a whim, while tangled in the early throes of my love affair with poetry, I purchased a lovely little book of poetry from fellow blogger Eric Quinn, of The Rag Tree. http://cathay12.wordpress.com/
Amassunu can be read in one sitting, but that would be a shame. Quinn’s poetry deserves a cup of tea, or two, and time to ponder and think. Then, when it’s time to write a review, only a short glass of whiskey, accompanied by a splash of spring water and an ice cube or two will do, after a pleasant afternoon on the mountain, spent re-reading every syllable, interspersed with cleaning Marty’s beautiful fish tank and refilling the hummingbird feeders.
Now the sun has just set, leaving behind a glowing peach melba horizon, above a soft blue sea, behind layers of darkening tree-covered ridgeline. Marty chops vegetables in the kitchen, and the little hummers, who asked so nicely earlier, have come to drink their fill.
Quinn’s Amassunu (an Amerindian word meaning “the sounds of waters”) takes us back in time, to his childhood, to a friend’s pool, where we “cannonball through it’s perfect green shadow”. We rescue salmon, we spar with another teen, poetry versus piano, we shovel snow, and ponder the sun’s purpose. We meet his fairy godmother and taste fresh-baked cookies. Later we are treated to four acupuncture haiku. Prickly!
Quinn takes us down, down, down, into his self and out into the world and backwards in time. His poems are love stories and memories and real life, as in “Jewelry and the Blacksmith”, the hard, cold life, anvils, war, tears, the blacksmith who “made a mesh once fine enough to shimmer like rain or her tears”.
We go to Harper’s Ferry to consider John Brown’s thinking, and soon we are in another world altogether, where centaurs gallop, carry harps of silver, and name themselves. We even get a taste of Quinn’s version in verse of The Epic of Gilgamesh. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epic_of_Gilgamesh
Quinn’s blog and Amassunu both take me places and teach me something. I like that.
The back of Quinn’s book promises that “shiver of self-recognition” that poetry so often inspires, and sure enough, I ask you, is it cold in here, or am I just reading Amassunu?