Book Reviews

The Architecture of Me:

Selected Poems by William Sovern

The Architecture of Me is a beautiful collection of William Sovern's remarkable and memorable poems. The poem 'The Apollinaire Blues' reveals his skilful mastery of style:
“in my 
green fields 
green fields of children 
balls fling 
Sovern's poetic technique is marked by innovation and experimentation. His poems reveal 'hard, dry image', instead of vague, facile and hollow style of the Georgian poets of the early 20th century. Consequently, Sovern succeeds in creating poems full of sharpness and preciseness. He writes about Salvador Dali, the famous surrealist artist:
was in
my dream
last night
Picasso was 
The following lines show that Sovern is able to create 'pictorially sensuous' style revealing the effect of painting on his poetry:
sat strapped
by two sea serpents
to the hood of the 
bus with the sculpture” (‘The Salvador Dali Blues’, p 18).
There can hardly be a better description of surrealism: 
“Picasso sat 
in the crimson
lipped back seat 
with a nude and
a musician playing 
Dylan on a mandolin 
the melody 
in the translucent
velvet air” (p. 19).
Another remarkable poem 'The Postmodern Artist Blues' seems to be a conscious reaction against the sterility of contemporary values:
              i will set
              my artwork
              fire (p. 25)
Sovern's imagination seems to be haunted by his quest of Peace and Beauty. The poem 911 captures the mood of horror amid the turmoil of naked barbarism. By the use of refrain, the poet's words and thoughts seem to sing together:
have always 
have always 
this was 
surreal be 
burned to death 
or jump from 
the 105 
floor", (p. 69).
Dryden remarked: "By the harmony of sounds we allurethe soul". By a deft use of repeating several times
have always
Sovern is creating rhythmical effects and music of a full orchestra. Sovern's first collection of poems The Architecture of Me leaves no doubt in my mind that he is destined to become a powerful force in contemporary world poetry.

The Architecture of Me: Selected Poems by William Sovern, Wasteland Press, USA, 2003, pp. 78, $ 12, ISBN 0-9724289-9-2.


More by :  Dr. Santosh Kumar

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