Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Recommended Read - Poetry by L. L. Barkat

by L.L. Barkat
International Arts Movement, 2009
Poetry, 112 pages

L. L. Barkat made a decision to spend about fifteen minutes in her back yard every day for one year—or at least long enough to drink a cup of tea. Did she know when she began that she’d emerge from her experiment with a book of poetry?

insideout is of special interest to me. When I began exploring the internet, I somehow landed on Barkat’s blog, Seedlings in Stone. (I really can’t remember how, and I didn’t know what a blog was at the time!) Because I enjoyed her writing, I kept coming back. And so, from time to time, I read the occasional one-sentence poetic word-images she shared, images written to reflect her experiences in the back yard.

Daily exposure had heightened Barkat’s senses, and her work appeals to them—sight, sound, feeling, and even taste and smell. However, her poetic expressions reveal not only sensual responses but also the thoughts she took with her when she went to drink her cup of tea.

Now that the International Arts Movement has published insideout, you can experience many of these word-images as well as her longer poems. The longer poems usually fill most of one page. I like them.

But I believe the unique short images set this work apart. Many are untitled. Each stands alone as a slice of life—perhaps two or three to a page. Together, they provide a satisfying, balanced, but intense reading experience.

The book is divided into the four seasons, each with its own mood. I especially appreciate winter—perhaps because, as adults, we don’t usually expose ourselves to winter elements.

Barkat employs poetic devices: even rhyme at the close of lines in some of the longer poems.

But other devices abound as well. An example of internal rhyme: sears dares

Some of her poetic devices surprised me. But they work to convey an impression. An example of alliteration: wind whips / flakes fleck

Other poetic devices invite the reader. An example of both alliteration and assonance: Snow sifts / softly, oh / so gently, covers / me

Wanting to include one poem in its entirety, line by line, I opened the book and discovered the first poem will do beautifully. It’s even has a title.

Autumn Milkweed

A thousand seeds
burst from this
rough belly,
fling themselves
to the wind…
a tumble
of silken forgetfulness.

And I must add one more, one without a title.

Shall I teach
you the way of a blossom,
the way of a cherry
twisting beneath
her stem,
shall I.

I have not received compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned or pictured. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


L.L. Barkat said...

Thanks for this sweet review! :)

Solveig said...

Thank you. The book was so worthy of anything I said.