Cheryl Snell has collaborated with her sister, Janet Snell to bring forth an astute and staggering blend of poetry, science, and art in her Multiverse collection. Cheryl probes the evolving understanding of the physical world. Mulitverse, the title, is some what of a clever winking pun. It suggests the layers in poetry relate to the layers one finds in the scientific Multiverse concept. Multiverse, in essence, is a new theory claiming there is not just one universe but several, and some Physicists now think that there may be as many as eleven dimensions co-existing at once. In Multiverse Cheryl Snell pulls the string theory from physics and applies it to poetry.
On the intellectual side of things, one can see the influence of the concepts of physics in her poetry. In “Flicker Vertigo” she references the beginning of the universe and man’s attempt to comprehend his experience within this universe. She concludes with the mind bending statement “The brain fills in what’s missing, the blanks/ between light and light, a corrugated sky hanging over the theater’s false ceiling.” The impression of reality being a “corrugated sky hanging over a false ceiling” leaves me wondering what reality is. If the brain creates the missing blanks is this life a “false theatre,” a creation in our mind, or is the “false theatre” the existence outside of the mind? Cheryl’s collection is if full of such constructs which provoke exploration and discovery.
As a whole, Mulitiverse is a collection that satisfies both the intellectual and spiritual aspects of poetry. Cheryl Snell uses language with sensitivity and an intelligence that is as refreshing as it is profound.