Far More Than A Poetic Experiment
Grady Harp (Los Angeles, CA United States)
MULTIVERSE by Cheryl Snell is a short collection of poignant poems that edge the idea of a MULTIple universe replacing the concept of a simple UNIverse. But lest the reader be afraid that the scientific aspect of this premise is prevalent in this collection, it must be pointed out that despite the original 'idea' of the title, the poems in this collection are immediately accessible, very beautiful works indeed.
The flow and meaningful content of this book of poems by a seasoned writer is made even more seductive by the addition of expressionistic paintings by Janet Snell. Rarely have poems been so well 'illustrated' or at least so integrated as they are by the two Snells working in tandem. At the heart of these poems and art is a sense of home, of the sounds of and sense of night, and the radiant meanderings of on seasonal strokes. And yet Snell knows how to bring all of nature together, to include humans, in a touching manner. For example:
By the time our father bolted
from his sickbed to squeeze
the nurse's breast, we'd worked
ourselves into a frenzy of waiting.
When he fell back on the pillow,
He's sleeping, we whispered.
He can't hear our words' mad buzz.
Outside, a dragonfly, transparent
wings on a blue-tinged stick,
hovered above a broken cricket
dragging though the backyard thatch.
It rose up, sudden as a mind changing,
and the room sagged with breath
held against the last thing we wanted to see:
a pair of wings escaping, the world left out of reach.
This is a collection of poems to be lingered over, like reminders of first views or experiences we usually keep to ourselves for fear that speaking of them will make them lost to us. Snell has captured these moments and we can only hope she will continue to write such tender thoughts as well as in MULTIVERSE.
Grady Harp, May 09