DCW502 Writing in Contemporary Practice . Review |21 August 2020
As part of our Diploma in Creative Writing course, we have been asked to review two pieces of writing from Kiss Me Hardy, NMIT’s online literary journal.
The first item that I chose to review from issue 3 of Kiss-Me-Hardy is the poem ‘Spheres Apart from a Snow-Soaked Winter’ by Livvy Buys. I chose this poem because its theme had a big impact on me.
I found the image chosen for the poem by the thumbnail text to be lacking somehow in connection to the poem. The photo is of a graveyard showing headstones and grave sites. I can see how this relates to the poem, but I felt that an image with a more personal touch would have been better suited. Such as a father playing with his daughter. In this way you capture what is lost, rather than showing a cold and unpersonal headstone that doesn’t really evoke an emotional reaction.
The poem itself was adept at creating an emotional response.
The poem starts with the physical location of both the protagonist and her (we presume father, although the relationship is never confirmed in the poem,) father. It effectively describes the different seasons that both parties are in on opposite ends of the sphere we call Earth. The exact distance of ‘eighteen thousand seven hundred and fifty kilometers’ is stated to show the physical distance, but the idea is given that as long as they share the same moments of life on the planet they are connected and this gives the protagonist a feeling of being close to her loved one despite the distance.
In the third stanza we learn that the protagonist doesn’t feel the same connection anymore because her father has now died, and they are no longer connected by life. She is unsure if her father still exists in any form, for it is impossible for her to measure it.
The protagonist reminisces about being embarrassed by rituals of affection, but how she would do anything now to receive them. The protagonist’s reminiscing turns to regret of how she feels she should have returned sooner to see her loved one while they were still alive rather then returning for the funeral.
The poem follows the form of a sestina. Six stanzas written with six lines each. The ending word of each sentence is reused as the ending word of each sentence in the next stanza, but in a different order.
There is a last stanza comprising of three lines with two of the ending words in each sentence.
I feel that this poem followed the form of a sestina without being obvious that this was the form that it was using. The poem used imagery effectively in each stanza. Creating pictures in the mind’s eye. The overall theme and the imagery both create a very touching and heartfelt subject matter. The poet uses half rhymes to create a flowing rhythm to the stanzas.
I felt that the poem’s method worked throughout apart from the last line, which felt a bit clumsy and out of place.
Overall, I found this poem to be moving. Heart-warming and heart wrenching at the same time.