Reviews & Comments on Robin Ouzman Hislop’s Collected Poems. All the Babble of the Souk.

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All the babble of the Souk
all the life of the planet &
so little part of it, that I breathe
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop, born UK, graduate in philosophy & religions, has travelled extensively throughout his lifetime but now lives in semi- retirement as a TEFL teacher and translator.
 
Robin was editor of the 12 year running on-line monthly poetry journal Poetry Life and Times. In 2013 he joined with Dave Jackson as co-editor at Artvilla.com, where he presently edits Poetry Life & Times.
 
He’s been previously published in a variety of international magazines, recent publications including Voices without Borders Volume 1 (USA), Cold Mountain Review (Appalachian University, N. Carolina), The Poetic Bond Volumes (thepoeticbond.com) and Phoenix Rising from the Ashes (a recently published international Anthology of Sonnets).
 
All the Babble of the Souk ©2015
 
Robin is a philosopher, poet, published author and more. It has been my privilege to reap the benefits of this man’s knowledge on an array of subjects. He has extensive knowledge on mind/body philosophy, evolutionary theory & cosmology theory. A man ahead of his time. A true visionary and creative genius. ~Janet Caldwell, COO at Inner Child Ltd, author of the Author Den’s award winning “5 degrees to separation”
 
Robin is a brilliant writer and philosopher as well as a recognized poet. He is an editor and contributor for Poetry Life and Times and other publications. ~David Michael Jackson, Web Publisher at Artvilla.com
 
Robin is a highly innovative and gifted poet, who excels in writing sonnets, blank verse and haiku, and in translating poetry from Spanish into English. His work is first-rate. ~Richard Vallance, Linguist Linear B, Knossos & Mycenaean
 
ISBN 978-1-3296-3695-8
 
…on All the Babble of the Souk
 
Gary Beck – All the Babble of the Souk is an elegant journey through both foreign and familiar climes. Anything but babble. Time and space bend in mysterious mists and mechanistic voyages. The poems pulsate with languid images that add to the wonder of travel to exotic places.
 
Scott Hastie – A collection of real substance that is long overdue. Robin writes with impressive depth and across a spread of philosophic stimuli that he makes uniquely his own. You do not have to travel long before you trip over killer lines, again and again… This is fresh, original and mature work, grown from one special creative soul’s well seasoned experience. Robin truly has a voice that is his own and it has been worth the wait to see it flower…
 
Robin Marchesi – High time this great Poet was properly in print. His Poems resonate like the work of Cavafy and Gibran. They are deep and revealing, resonating in one’s inner self. This book will stimulate your metaphysical being. Robin’s Poetry opens you to questions about who you are…. Essential reading……
 
R. W. Haynes – Robin Ouzman Hislop’s All the Babble of the Souk grips elemental tangles with wisely wistful authority, making a claim both for the adequacy of animate language and for erudite perception. Counterpointing the abstruse and the inescapably basic, these poems draw upon a power that surprises, engaging the reader in the poet’s heartfelt conversation with a tradition and its diverse voices, including T. S. Eliot and Dylan Thomas. Hislop’s retro-modernist recovery of vision argues for a refreshed perception of poetic possibility and a turn from the infinite regress of the verse which echoes the empty sophistry of twentieth-century language philosophers. Music, with its syncopation, minor chords, pauses, accelerations, jingles, knocks, and elegiac phrases constitutes a crucial part of the essence of this splendid collection.
 
Ian Irvine (Hobson) – The metaphor of the ‘marketplace’ or ‘bazaar’ – symbolic in this collection of public spaces generally (both physical and cultural/mediatised) – launches this remarkable collection of poems by a poet, editor and creative thinker of international significance. The ‘souk’ is a place of trade, chance meetings, overheard conversations and communal eating. This collection also links it to our post-post modern state of life in the face of cultural globalisation. However, rather than theorise key aspects of our world we are invited to explore them instead as states of being – with joyous and anxious dimensions. As the poet/narrator mingles, observes, samples and digests (in poem after poem) a colourful array of stimuli – sensorial, relational and intellectual – we gradually feel our perception of life and the species crisis/moment deepen and expand. The melancholy grandeur of the human predicament slowly comes into focus – largely through the poet’s gift of empathy. A wonderful selection of poems updating for the new millennia themes mulled over by the likes of Baudelaire (in Paris Spleen), Apollinaire (in Zone), George Oppen (in Of Being Numerous) and many other great 19th and 20th century poets.
 
Marie Marshall – The eternal curse of a poetry editor is that she can seldom read for pleasure alone. For example, when I come across a phrase in Robin Ouzman Hislop’s new collection of poems – this phrase, ‘a beehive of allies’ – I find myself wondering whether he meant ‘alleys’, instead of just reading on and enjoying the ride. Because Robin’s poetry is often just that, a ride. The same poem that brought me up short in editor mode, contains lines like in little stanzas like

      The hag in her rags begs her bag
      holding all shadows to account.

each a new thought after a pause for breath, or so it seems, each with an image that sparkles, almost with effrontery. That’s how I like my poetry – image, sound, and bare-faced cheek.
 
As the images pile up, or maybe I unearth more as I drill down, discovering depth in the poetry, the typographical puzzles pile up too, and I begin to wonder if they are deliberate cantrips on the poet’s part. I hope they are. I hope they are, because I want to trust the poet’s intentions. I know he’s not your average Internet Joe, but a man with a mean, keen pen. He knows how to play, how to make free, how to brew poetry:

      Riding along in our dream machine
      our virtual reality all but a scream
      no exit
      blood on the wind screen, faithful Fido’s gone
      the machine’s a mess, – every where’s a gas.

      A trickle through a diaphanous sheen
      a thin crust peels, roll the dice
      a question of ethics, the cost of life.

Y’know, somewhere along the line, Ezra Pound and John Cooper Clarke rolled dice for this man’s soul, and I can’t say who won. Maybe he walked away laughing while the bones still tumbled, soul intact. I hope so. He has the measure of our suburbs, seeing how

      gleamed cleaned cars
      the phallus of a Sunday afternoon

let us (you’re here too, and I have morphed into ‘we’) catch our reflection in that polished surface, wondering how to measure the depth of the shine. Meanwhile

      Danger, Deep Water, Keep Out

As if we could. There are caesuras in this collection, but they almost seem accidental, as though titles, page breaks, and stars merely interrupted a flow of thought momentarily. The collection has the feel of a single work, as though the poet sat down, started at the beginning, wrote the middle, and stopped at the end. See? The golden arches of a fast-food outlet, the taunts of a cuckoo, big Sunday words like ‘bifurcation’, ‘pheromone’, and ‘olfactory’, all rub shoulders, and rub along. We ride. It’s the same ride all the time, but the scenery outside the window shifts, and fellow passengers come and go. Occasionally we get off, but only to stretch our legs

      As we celebrate
      life lies dead on the table
      we eat it.

and then the ride starts again. But a short offering like that reminds me that on the return journey I must insist on long enough to read each poem on its own…
 
and I’m by myself again, closing the book at its final page. Second impressions:
 
The poet is aware of the shape of his work on the page, of its concreteness. The poet knows when to be serious and when not to, and he knows when to muddy the water of each with the other. When he says ‘Watch my stick’, you hear ‘This means you!’ The poet can make a dream return from the rubble of artifice. I know poetry when I see it.
 
 
Norman Ball, writer, author of Between River and Rock: How I Resolved Television in Six Easy Payments – Before I get to the book itself, I’d like to offer up a confession. Robin and I have, over the years, engaged in some fascinating discussions on such far-flung topics as Big Bang contrarianism, the mystery of consciousness, theories of memes, multiverses, Popper falsifiability and vitalism, just to name a few; in short, the usual water cooler chatter. Or maybe not. Robin’s a whole lot smarter than me. Nonetheless it’s a lot of fun trying to keep up. If you’ll forgive a mixed metaphor, we’re odd ducks of a feather.
 
For one thing, Hislop is not averse to the occasional Latinate or ism getting tossed into a stanza. Of course poetical exploration of High Concept puts one at odds with the prevailing penchant for concrete image and tactile adhesives. There are many in poetry today who insist that, if you can’t say something nice about a spatula, a garden hose or a lamppost, you have no business trafficking in periphrasis. Everything must be grounded in the real, they say—as if such a thing as the real really existed. If I may say, oh prevailing sentiment in poetry, get real.
 
So, perhaps All the Babble of the Souk is not for everyone. But then, what of any value ever is? Poetry marches under a Big Spatula and we all can’t be flipping fried eggs and hash. Besides, in the hands of a deftly abstract mind, abstraction is not exactly a kick in the head. Nor will it break the yokes and spoil your breakfast. What is a speculative poetic excursion, after all, but high imagination and eccentricity commiserating via language? Let the arbiters of bric a brac catalog the quotidian like good flea marketeers. Such people are born to rummage about in the attic and log their heirlooms on eBay. Hislop doesn’t trammel their kiosks. He has Big Thoughts to mull.
 
Fresh off a personally intense eye-mind exploration , I found myself greatly predisposed to ‘Maps’, a four-piece series of poetic aphorisms that offers some dazzling insights into how we demarcate our space, time and existence, and especially how these elements are conveyed, if not even defined, by our senses:
 

 
This notion of time having a real job to do immediately put me in mind of John Archibald Wheeler: “Time is what prevents everyt hing from happening at once.” Hislop may be onto something even more subtle: Does time keep chaos at bay, allowing time for our disparate senses to marry their qualia into a coherent universe? Perhaps those with Synesthesia are more evolved creators of worlds, their gaps between sound and vision less discontinuous.
 
‘Maps’ delivered me to a speculation I wouldn’t have reached otherwise. And I find that’s a critical function of Hislop’s poetry. It gathers, then points away. More important than the resolved landing place is how it offers a hospitable ‘symposium’, couching philosophical fields of inquiry within poetic metaphor from which the reader’s own speculative arcs can then rise and take tangential flight; speculations feeding speculations. What does resolution ever resolve anyway? Conclusions are overrated. The concrete of the concretists doesn’t exist in a world:

      Imposed as
      an impression
      seeking an ineffable concrete
      in an abstraction
      which defies location. —from ‘Red Butterflies’

Tumbling down rabbit holes beats rabbit stew any old day, especially when the universe has us fixed for the tasty, sentient rabbit anyway. In this sense I would call Hislop’s poetry inviting, intelligent, and non-binding.
 
In ‘From Here to Silence, three’, he sets up a free will versus determinism tug-of-war stalked by Nietzschean recurrence and Leonard Susskind’s holographic 2D picture-show. You got a problem with that, Rod McKuen?

      Say we are not sui generis
      (the cause of yourself)
      we are homeostatic holographs
      dimensions in spectral parallel membranes
      our near eternal process to err
      along such a line we pass time in, time out
      but could we not cheat the butterfly effect?

The stanza ends on the plaintive hope, reminiscent of Kafka that our cycle of error could end if freewill achieved grace but for an instant. Let us hope that moment arrives as I’m so tired of breaking my shoelace the day before Thanksgiving forever.
 
Am I losing the yucksters in all the heavy universe lifting? Not so fast. Hislop can be funny too. ‘At a Slant’ has a droll quality that still draws a snicker if for no other reason than that we’re stuck, all together (‘but it’s the same for all of us!’):

      The con of life

      the weirdness of its melodramatic sham
      how good we are at yesterday, tomorrow
      always better than before
      like, being had – in the process by it.

>

The juxtaposed tenses of being had cement the interminable predicament we share. No exit. But at least we perfect our yesterdays until such time as we resume them anew, becoming rank amateurs all over again; amateurs though with a difference, with a modicum of acquired wisdom and an almost imperceptibly elevated rank.
 
Okay, so it’s bleak, black humor. But there are shafts of light. One day, though maybe yet a half-eternity away, some butterfly will escape the dark matter of our descending shoe. (Butterflies pervade Hislop’s poetry.) We’ll be released to the next pristine universe armed with a butterfly-brain’s worth of hard-earned prescience. So yes, each successive Big Bang is not an unadulterated singularity. Some kernel of hard-earned wisdom gets borne through. Each new universe is a tooth on a slowly revolving gear that turns towards…perfection? In short, something barely better. Since Hislop asks, that’s what—I think, I hope—may be next:

      Pack, the near infinite
      (in—the moment before you munch)
      take a bit of the biscuit
      before the Big Crunch
      it’s an eternal packet
      & having all, what’s next? —from ‘Lucky Hat Day’

All the Babble of the Souk will have you pondering your predicament in a whole new imaginative light. Reflect well my friend, as mindless impulsivity and materialist inanity are precisely what dangle this eternity over the present-day abyss. Therein may lie our paper-thin chance for freedom: by insect increment, one pardoned butterfly per eon at a time.
 
 
Richard Vallance, writer, author of Canadian Spirit Voices – If “All the Babble of the Souk” is anything but memorable — as it surely is — it is so because of its sweeping portrayal of the tumultuous market that is humankind. The “babble” of this bazaar is that of all the markets in the world — irrespective of nation, language, culture or race or for that matter, at the symbolic level, of any manifestation of our nature, be it “good” or “evil”, which are not opposing psychological or spiritual states as all too many naďvely imagine, but rather their subtle blending in our psyche. There is no suggestion of the presence or absence of God or a “god”. It is irrelevant. There is just humanity.
 
The poems, mostly quasi free form, some of them highly reminiscent of haiku, range from very short to a few pages long. Except for one poem and one only, Scale Free, in which we come face to face with some of the most beautiful imagery in the entire collection, and I quote:
 
A cuckoo taunts
high in the mountain
where are you?
 
there is not a single question to be found in the rest of the book. All the rest of the poems consist only of statements, some of them brief, others rather too long for my taste and some even downright convoluted. When this approach to poetry composition is carried to its extreme, it can and sometimes does result in the overly prosaic. That is the only real quarrel I have with this collection. Fortunately, there are only only a handful of poems which are painfully prone to the prosaic. Among these are Mannequins, the whole series Maps 1,2,3,4, The Prisoners, Non Linear and in particular Rust (which reads more like a scientific tract than a poem), none of which have any real appeal to me.
 
The rest of the poems run from agreeable at the very least to the truly amazing. Among those poems agreeable to the mind and/or the ear I count: Passage, At the Party, Here Comes the Moon, Multiverse, The Pine at the Summit and Wind upon a River. Others like these will more or less please the reader. But as everyone knows, we all have our own preferences for the kinds of poetry we like. The poems which appeal more to one person appeal less to another. The aforementioned choices are merely my own.
 
Next come poems which display remarkable talent, such as: After Dylan on the Ninth Wave (which I for one particularly like), Africa North (haiku-like), A Witch for Halloween (in which we find some of the most striking chthonic imagery in the book), Core (commendable for its brevity, economy of verse & imagery), Entanglements (haiku-like), Sequence 1 & 2 (haiku-like) and Story of a Rose.
 
I have a marked preference for the poet’s haiku-like poems. Haiku have always strongly appealed to me. In fact, I myself, along with Robin Ouzman Hislop and so many other truly talented haijin, have composed a considerable number of poems of this nature, many of which were published in the print quarterly, Canadian Zen Haiku (2004-2010), which is now out of print. Brevity is the soul of wit, and indeed of the memorable. It is Robin Ouzman Hislop’ s more compact poems which please me the most. There are exceptions, poems which are not haiku-like or are somewhat lengthier. There are some truly memorable lines in these poems. For instance, we have:
 
from Africa North:
 
A winnowing canvass tosses corn
and
… as fireflies in the blazing day.
 
and finally
In the gloaming a solitary reaper reaps its shadow.
(Reminiscences of Wordsworth’ s, The Solitary Reaper, one of the most astonishingly beautiful poems in English.)
 
from After Dylan on the Ninth Wave, there are a considerable number of memorable lines, which you can explore for yourself. The poem is not quite up to Dylan Thomas… a very tough act to follow!
 
and from Core:
 
reaching my eye’s peninsula

sudden scene, solitary strand
 
All of the poems in this class pleased me a great deal.
 
Now we come to the downright brilliant poems, of which there are naturally only a few. I might as well cite them all. They are Scale Free (a series of haiku-like lines & almost pure haiku), A Split Second Later’s Late, Laminations in Lacquer, Lucky Hat Day and Red Butterflies, all of which had a powerful psychological and spiritual impact on me. Here are just a few of the lines from these truly remarkable poems which really struck me, and I mean really —
 
from A Split Second Later’s Late:
 
… a serpent’s spit according to legend.
 
from Laminations in Lacquer, the gripping lines:
 
Fireworks like a diaphanous lithograph
print an emblazoned sky
on the craggy mountains of the night
where comets play at kites
& glistening the eerie beak hisses.
 
and from Red Butterflies, where we find some of the most highly inspired, truly imaginative lines:
 
but as a collage on shifting sands…

A sword brazed in a fire
that does not distinguish
between the battle
& the field.
 
I believe we can safely say that the poet has achieved a level of poetic style and content which can hardly disappoint. Some of the poems in in “All the Babble of the Souk” remind me of T.S. Eliot’s “The Wasteland”. Perhaps the most striking feature of this volume is the poet’s portrayal of humanity, which deprives us of any escape from the darker, more insidious depths of our human condition. The most striking imagery in the entire collection forces itself on the least flattering trait of of our nature, our tendency towards — I might as well say it flat out — bestiality, which leaps to the fore in the poet’s all too frequent comparison between homo sapiens and apes (King Simian, seeking simian), gorillas, baboons and other fierce beasts of that ilk, all the way to neanderthals, Australopithecus and the odious nocturnal lupine, the proverbial werewolf. Lines such as: the hairless ape, go ape, going bananas… all mercilessly zero in on our ape-like nature bedeviling our so-called civilized veneer.
 
There is also frequent reference to eating meat, and being eaten (we grow the meat we eat, those she didn’t eat alive, children simply to feed her, how they like human flesh, to be consumed by hell), all the way through to witchcraft and Zombie imagery. The dreadful presence of these creatures of the night inexorably lurks just beneath the thin veneer our blasé urbanity.
 
To cut to the quick, the most memorable qualities of Robin Ouzman Hislop’s poetic gifts are his penchant for economy of lines and the puissant imagery of the chthonic. Where these features dominate any poem, they impel it towards the nonpareil! Such poems soar. When it works, it works supremely well. As for the rest, there is much to please the reader.

Press Release All the Babble of the Souk A Collection of Poetry by Robin Ouzman Hislop

Press Release All the Babble of the Souk published by Aquillrelle on Lulu. by Robin Ouzman Hislop.
 

robin2705
 
Review of All the Babble of the Souk by Richard Vallance
 
Richard Vallance, writer, author of Canadian Spirit Voices=
If “All the Babble of the Souk” is anything but memorable — as it surely is — it is so because of its sweeping portrayal of the tumultuous market that is humankind. The “babble” of this bazaar is that of all the markets in the world — irrespective of nation, language, culture or race or for that matter, at the symbolic level, of any manifestation of our nature, be it “good” or “evil”, which are not opposing psychological or spiritual states as all too many naïvely imagine, but rather their subtle blending in our psyche. There is no suggestion of the presence or absence of God or a “god”. It is irrelevant. There is just humanity.
 
The poems, mostly quasi free form, some of them highly reminiscent of haiku, range from very short to a few pages long. Except for one poem and one only, Scale Free, in which we come face to face with some of the most beautiful imagery in the entire collection, and I quote:
 
A cuckoo taunts
high in the mountain
where are you?

 
there is not a single question to be found in the rest of the book. All the rest of the poems consist only of statements, some of them brief, others rather too long for my taste and some even downright convoluted. When this approach to poetry composition is carried to its extreme, it can and sometimes does result in the overly prosaic. That is the only real quarrel I have with this collection. Fortunately, there are only only a handful of poems which are painfully prone to the prosaic. Among these are Mannequins, the whole series Maps 1,2,3,4, The Prisoners, Non Linear and in particular Rust (which reads more like a scientific tract than a poem), none of which have any real appeal to me.
 
The rest of the poems run from agreeable at the very least to the truly amazing. Among those poems agreeable to the mind and/or the ear I count: Passage, At the Party, Here Comes the Moon, Multiverse, The Pine at the Summit and Wind upon a River. Others like these will more or less please the reader. But as everyone knows, we all have our own preferences for the kinds of poetry we like. The poems which appeal more to one person appeal less to another. The aforementioned choices are merely my own.
 
Next come poems which display remarkable talent, such as: After Dylan on the Ninth Wave (which I for one particularly like), Africa North (haiku-like), A Witch for Halloween (in which we find some of the most striking chthonic imagery in the book), Core (commendable for its brevity, economy of verse & imagery), Entanglements (haiku-like), Sequence 1 & 2 (haiku-like) and Story of a Rose.
 
I have a marked preference for the poet’s haiku-like poems. Haiku have always strongly appealed to me. In fact, I myself, along with Robin Ouzman Hislop and so many other truly talented haijin, have composed a considerable number of poems of this nature, many of which were published in the print quarterly, Canadian Zen Haiku (2004-2010), which is now out of print. Brevity is the soul of wit, and indeed of the memorable. It is Robin Ouzman Hislop’ s more compact poems which please me the most. There are exceptions, poems which are not haiku-like or are somewhat lengthier. There are some truly memorable lines in these poems. For instance, we have:
 
from Africa North:
A winnowing canvass tosses corn
and
... as fireflies in the blazing day.
and finally
In the gloaming a solitary reaper reaps its shadow.
(Reminiscences of Wordsworth’ s, The Solitary Reaper, one of the most astonishingly beautiful poems in English.)
 
from After Dylan on the Ninth Wave, there are a considerable number of memorable lines, which you can explore for yourself. The poem is not quite up to Dylan Thomas… a very tough act to follow!
 
and from Core:
reaching my eye’s peninsula

sudden scene, solitary strand
 
All of the poems in this class pleased me a great deal.
 
Now we come to the downright brilliant poems, of which there are naturally only a few. I might as well cite them all. They are Scale Free ( a series of haiku-like lines & almost pure haiku), A Split Second Later’s Late, Laminations in Lacquer, Lucky Hat Day and Red Butterflies, all of which had a powerful psychological and spiritual impact on me. Here are just a few of the lines from these truly remarkable poems which really struck me, and I mean really —
 
from A Split Second Later’s Late:
… a serpent’s spit according to legend.
 
from Laminations in Lacquer, the gripping lines:
Fireworks like a diaphanous lithograph
print an emblazoned sky
on the craggy mountains of the night
where comets play at kites
& glistening the eerie beak hisses.

 
and from Red Butterflies, where we find some of the most highly inspired, truly imaginative lines:
but as a collage on shifting sands…

A sword brazed in a fire
that does not distinguish
between the battle
& the field.

 
I believe we can safely say that the poet has achieved a level of poetic style and content which can hardly disappoint. Some of the poems in in “All the Babble of the Souk” remind me of T.S. Eliot’s “The Wasteland”. Perhaps the most striking feature of this volume is the poet’s portrayal of humanity, which deprives us of any escape from the darker, more insidious depths of our human condition. The most striking imagery in the entire collection forces itself on the least flattering trait of of our nature, our tendency towards — I might as well say it flat out — bestiality, which leaps to the fore in the poet’s all too frequent comparison between homo sapiens and apes (King Simian, seeking simian), gorillas, baboons and other fierce beasts of that ilk, all the way to neanderthals, Australopithecus and the odious nocturnal lupine, the proverbial werewolf. Lines such as: the hairless ape, go ape, going bananas… all mercilessly zero in on our ape-like nature bedeviling our s0-called civilized veneer.
 
There is also frequent reference to eating meat, and being eaten (we grow the meat we eat, those she didn’t eat alive, children simply to feed her, how they like human flesh, to be consumed by hell), all the way through to witchcraft and Zombie imagery. The dreadful presence of these creatures of the night inexorably lurks just beneath the thin veneer our blasé urbanity.
 
To cut to the quick, the most memorable qualities of Robin Ouzman Hislop’s poetic gifts are his penchant for economy of lines and the puissant imagery of the chthonic. Where these features dominate any poem, they impel it towards the nonpareil! Such poems soar. When it works, it works supremely well. As for the rest, there is much to please the reader.
 
Overall rating: 3.75/ 5
 
Richard Vallance

 
 
Richard Vallance
 
 
Richard Vallance, meta-linguist, ancient Greek & Mycenaean Linear B, home page: Linear B, Knossos & Mycenae, https://linearbknossosmycenae.wordpress.com
 
PINTEREST Boards: Mycenaean Linear B: Progressive Grammar & Vocabulary,
 
https://www.pinterest.com/vallance22/mycenaean-linear-b-progressive-grammar-and-vocabulary and, Knossos & Mycenae, sister civilizations, https://www.pinterest.com/vallance22/knossos-mycenae-sister-civilizations
 
Also poetry publisher, The Phoenix Rising from the Ashes: Anthology of sonnets of the early third millennium Le Phénix renaissant de ses cendres : Anthologie de sonnets au début du troisième millénaire Friesen Press, Victoria, B.C., Canada. © August 2013. 35 illustrations in B & W. Author & Title Indexes. 257 pp. 315 sonnets & ghazals in English, French, Spanish, German, Chinese & Persian.
 
http://vallance22.hpage.com
 
 
 
 
 
www.facebook.com/PoetryLifeTimes
www.facebook.com/Artvilla.com
robin@artvilla.com
editor@artvilla.com

 
 
http://www.aquillrelle.com/authorrobin.htm
http://www.amazon.com. All the Babble of the Souk. Robin Ouzman Hislop
www.lulu.com. All the Babble of the Souk. Robin Ouzman Hislop
https://www.amazon.com/author/robinouzmanhislop
http://www.innerchildpress.com/robin-ouzman-hislop.All the Babble of the Souk

 

PRESS RELEASE. The Poetic Bond V.

PRESS RELEASE PRESS RELEASE PRESS RELEASE PRESS RELEASE PRESS RELEASE PRESS RELEASE
 
PBVCoverFinal
 
Willowdown Books is pleased to announce the poems
 
A Split Second Later’s Late and The Split
by
Robin Ouzman Hislop

 
have been chosen for inclusion in the international poetry anthology
 
THE POETIC BOND V
CELEBRATING FIVE YEARS OF GLOBAL POETRY
ISBN 978-1517783808
 
Publication Date 21 October 2015
Available from www.thepoeticbond.com and across all AMAZON Channels
 
Summary Review
A Split Second Later’s Late “Hangs brilliantly on the edge, visually stunning, there is a breadth to the language that is very satisfying.”
The Split “A challenging piece, revealing the debates of Wu Ch Eng En and Chuang Tze, and prompting the reader to research. The tone of philosophical enquiry is well held giving a feeling of profound truth.”

 
(Trevor Maynard, Editor, The Poetic Bond Series)
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is the Editor of the online journal Poetry Life and Times (see Artvilla navigation bar above) & Facebook Pages of Poetry Life and Times and Artvilla.com (see links below) – which are extensions of the website Artvilla.com .He’s published in a variety of international magazines and a recent Anthology of Sonnets: Phoenx Rising from the Ashes. 
Previously Robin has appeared in The Poetic Bond Series with his poems “Red Butterflies”, “From Here to Silence”, and “Far from Equilibrium”
 
The Poetic Bond V
POETRY THAT BONDS US
 
1. Thirty-six poets from 11 countries were selected through a submission process in which there were no restrictions on form, style, length of subject; instead the choices made were on the basis of emergent themes and congruency in the pool of work; a snapshot of the poetry of new media NOW, seeking to capture the zeitgeist of the moment.
 
2. Trevor Maynard, UK based poet and writer, manager of Poetry, Review and Discuss Group, a major poetry group on LinkedIn. His new poetry collection KEEP ON KEEPIN’ ON (published in 2012). He is also the author of several plays. Further information can be found at our Artvilla site Poetry Life & Times (see navigation bar above)
 
3. The Poets of The POETIC BOND V (2015) are; Amanda Judd (Virginia, USA), Belinda DuPret (West Sussex, UK) Betty Bleen (Ohio, USA), Bonnie Flach (California, USA), Bonnie Roberts (Alabama, USA), Brian McCully (Victoria, Australia), Caroline Glen (Queensland, Australia) , Christine Anderes (New York, USA) Cigeng Zhang (China), Claire Mikkelsen (Alabama, USA), Clark Cook (British Columbia, Canada), Diane Wend (Dorset, UK), Rhona Davidson (West Yorks, UK), Frances Ayers (New York, USA), Freddie Ostrovskis (Derbyshire, UK), Gilbert Franke (Texas, USA), GK Grieve (London, UK), Ian Colville (Bedfordshire, UK), James Sutton (IOWA, USA), Jill Langlois (Illinois, USA), Joseph Simmons (Maryland, USA), Julie Clark (Kent, UK), Kewayne Wadley (Tennessee, USA), Leander Seddon (New South Wales, Australia), Linda Mills (Oregon, USA), Marli Moreira (Brazil), Nana Tokatli (Greece), Neetu Malik (USA), Peter Alan Soron (Cheshire, UK) Pushpita Awasthi (Netherlands), RH Peat (California, USA), Robin Ouzman Hislop (Spain), Sonia Kilvington (Cyprus), Trevor Maynard (Surrey, UK), Wendy Joseph (California, USA), William diBenedetto (Seattle, Washington, USA)
 
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http://www.amazon.com. All the Babble of the Souk. Robin Ouzman Hislop
www.lulu.com. All the Babble of the Souk. Robin Ouzman Hislop

Robin Ouzman Hislop, Publisher of Poetry Life and Times and Artvilla’s Poetry Editor

 

Robin Ouzman Hislop was editor of the 12 year running on line monthly poetry journal Poetry Life and Times from 2005, previously edited by Sara Russell, after its closure in 2008, he joined with Dave Jackson editor/admin as co editor at  https://motherbird.com & Artvilla.com  in 2013 & now edits both Poetry Life and Times  with its Facebook page  PoetryLifeTimes .

He’s been previously published in a variety of international magazines, which include Voices without Borders Volume 1 (USA), Cold Mountain Review, Appalachian University N Carolina, The Poetic Bond  series and  an Anthology of Sonnets Phoenix Rising from the Ashes. His publications include All the Babble of the Souk and Cartoon Molecules collected poems and Key of Mist the recently published Tesserae translations from Spanish poets Guadalupe Grande and Carmen Crespo 

visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop for more information and reviews, him performing some of his work at  Performance (University of Leeds) and his latest volume of collected poems at Next-Arrivals

Submittals may be sent to robin@artvilla.com or editor@artvilla.com  Please refer to our submittal guidelines at any of the sites.

 

Sharon Olds “a poet of sex and the psyche,”

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Sharon Olds is one of contemporary poetry’s leading voices. Winner of several prestigious awards, including the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Critics Circle Award, Olds is known for writing intensely personal, emotionally scathing poetry which graphically depicts family life as well as global political events.
Sharon Olds ‘a poet of sex and the psyche’: Quote Billie Collins.

The Darkened Rooms of Summer.Jared Carter.Poetry.Review by Norman Ball

The Darkened Rooms of Summer
 
 
Troubled Water: Quietism in the Age of Performance By Norman Ball
 
(previously appeared in Trinacria, Fall 2014 in abridged form)
 
In Jared Carter’s latest collection of poetry The Darkened Rooms of Summer, the poem ‘Picking Stone’ is prefaced with the following passage from Emerson’s ‘Self-Reliance’:
 
“Speak your latent conviction, and it shall be the universal sense; for the inmost in due time becomes the outmost…we recognize our own rejected thoughts: they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty.”
 
Carter’s poetry conducts the latent convictions of the earth with unwavering fealty. Latent conviction suggests oblique paradox as does a room darkened by summer (also, the “dark shining” in ‘Scryer’ and the “harsh glare billowing darkness” in ‘The Shriving’). The grand, ineluctable cycles that move across the earth, and in equal measure through Carter’s poetry, extinguish their ends in their beginnings. Everywhere, light appears out of the darkness, or does one interpenetrate the other? Both. Stones are regurgitated to the surface like bundled mysteries. Were they there last planting season? Yes and no. Each encroaches upon, or drains from, the other as though through a great quantum sieve. One well imagines how fevered entrances and sweeping bows—all that performative mumbo-jumbo—would overwhelm what arrives to Carter’s still eye as a,“…broken heave of light and dark” (from ‘Phoenix’). Animated readings seize the eyeballs in the room yet banish the clearing. Through it all, the world forever adulterates and falls, mostly onto the shoulders of those who labor, in brief intervals, atop its primordial cycle.
 
Carter is a contemplative poet, yes. But in the spirit of Wordworth’s wise passiveness (there are powers/Which of themselves our minds impress/That we can feed this mind of ours,/In wise passiveness – Expostulation and Reply ll.21-24). This contemplative state is metaphorically expressed in ‘Mississinewa Reservoir at Winter Pool’. Here, the townspeople, ‘as though/having risen from a deep sleep/and come at last to a place/no longer having anything in it/except themselves.’
 
Quietism has fallen on loud, hard times. No one wants to take a silent bullet and invoke the clearing. Every day across America, poetry jumpstarts a bright new career in readings. Ill-suited ovations are the rage. Bowling night hardly stands a chance. In ‘The Oddfellows’ Waiting Room at Glencove Cemetery’, Carter begs to differ. A resolute listener, he continues to hold the thin, quiet line: ‘There must always be a place like this/where the dimensions collapse inwardly/ like a telescope you slip into your pocket.’ This is a beautiful image echoing again the Emerson quote; a telescope, tasked with mapping the outer reaches of the universe, collapsing into and inward, to a place where the poet stands waiting.
 
A heretical notion from the earliest times, quietism was formalized as such by Pope Innocent XI in 1687. Thomas Merton referred to it as an inert ‘spiritual vacuum’. The Protestant work ethic was equally hostile to a movement that rejected faith’s role as a catalyst for striving, wrestling and capital formation. The fundamental objection was that a faith that lacked vigor and purpose in the world risked falling into listlessness and solipsism. Soon enough, God’s voice would be shouted down by the clatter of railroads and later the ubiquitous presence of handheld devices.
 
There’s even less escaping the world today. Poems arrive hyperlinked to position papers. Recently, poetry critic and identity politician Ron Silliman accused quietism (or as poetasters like to call it, The School of Quietude) of a sly tactical reticence aimed at “denial of self-identification” and a refusal to be named. State your business or lay down your pen. Resisting industrial barcodes is, for the poetry confab, a first-order sin of omission. Poets are expected today to ‘splain themselves on the way to a good internecine squabble. Wearing their schools on their sleeves, they hoist grievances with a gusto that would make Robert Frost’s politicians blanch.
 
Well offstage, heads down and dimly lit, Carter’s people are forever lifting bricks and stones, digging up roots, exhuming the dead, but not with the isolating despair of Sisyphus. Here is a passage from ‘Ginseng’:
 
But all of them together— hunters,
thieves, those who keep the old ways—
pass it from hand to hand along
a chain of those who know exactly
where it is going, what it is worth—

 
The continental malaise of self-absorption has never reached Mississinewa County. Carter’s people accept their sublimated roles as momentary caretakers of the land—from prior hands, into future hands. To paraphrase Frost, life is notable mostly for going on, albeit with a flitting cast of characters, which is another way of saying time has a way of standing still:
 
Nothing done well ever ends,
she said, touching my hand, not even land
built up one act at a time, so that all
that went before, and after, still waits
there.
–from ‘Poem Written on a Line from the Walam Olum’
 
We lift stones at our appointed times, then drop them for the earth to reclaim, swallow up, to be expunged anew, rediscovered and lifted once again (‘the inmost in due time becomes the outmost’). This human bucket brigade treads a cosmic circle that may well harbor a far-off, though ultimately inhuman, coherence. Coleridge’s tail-eating serpent meets Eliot’s still-point in ‘Mourning Dove’ where, “all of their singing is circular, and comes back to the same stillness.” In ‘The Undertaker’, we find a similar acquiescence to a cycle larger than one generation’s labors:
 
Each man slowly recognized, like a combination of lost numbers,
that men younger than themselves had labored here,
grown old, and were gone, who had lifted this same earth,
who had put in what they now took out

 
As for this moment, for you and for me, the mind is a stone to be rolled away from the entrance of the soul. Only then can man and earth enjoy unmediated communion. The ubiquitous arrowheads, stones with a fashioned vengeance, are scattered about the landscape like long-discarded arguments “dropped from an empty sky”. At times even the dead must be lifted in order to deliver their stillness to higher ground. The new reservoir promises to round all edges. Who will save the dead? Few congregants are up to the task, as the undertaker soon learns:
 
Fell overcome with heat, one did, the first day;
another struck by the sun; two more threw down their tools
and walked away. The few who stayed till the job was done
rode together in the back of Sefe’s pickup each quitting time
to a tavern on the highway”
—from ‘The Undertaker’
 
What happens when self-negating labor is abandoned for the seductive rush of slogans, movements, grand causes and petty, indulgent feuds, in short the usual “bed of fabrications” (from ‘Shaking the Peonies’)? In ‘Phoenix’, we find two soldiers in borrowed Napoleonic uniforms, trapped in a generational family feud not of their making, in a Shawnee war not of their bidding. Adding to the worldly layers of confusion and “alienated majesty”, they find themselves comrades in the same war. Seeking to resolve these bewildering allegiances, they end up fighting one another to the death. In perhaps the most comprehensively emblematic image in the collection (we have the water, the rocks, the rising darkness and the failing light), the two men venture down to the hollow with the General’s consent where a “dark presence/rose up— a basin of troubled water, seething/and boiling, surging over heaps of stones/catching the last light through the trees”.
 
In ‘Picking Stone’, these men seem to appear again, this time as boys, “still in baseball uniforms from a game at the Legion” Later they, “pry with an iron bar against a great gray rock. They will not quit, they begin to roar as they bear down on it.”
 
Those closest to the earth do not bear uniforms well; or else the organizing principle becomes, “…so smudged you can’t tell what army” they’re in (from ‘Covered Bridge’). Uniforms are regimenting colors that march us away from ourselves. The uniform du jour in poetry these days is the performance poet. In his struggle to be heard, this thoroughly modern bard finds his public voice only to lose his vocation. After all, his job is not to linger, but to vacate the clearing his contemplation ushers through. The limelight eludes the proper poet by design.
Carter’s quietude is a conscious and sustained act, hardly a feeble acquiescence. He resists polluting the stillness with gratuitous detail, resigning himself with poetic fatalism to Keats’ negative capabilities, that ‘part of your mind that cannot hurry, that has never learned to decide’ (from ‘Mississinewa County Road’). Forbearance is the bright shadow that guides his pen.
 
The poet advertises himself only on the rarest occasions. In ‘At the Sign-Painters’, he extolls the Depression-era sign painters who stoically accept being observed at their labors. We sense the poet’s calling slowly forming in a boy’s mind. The words are prefigured, waiting to be filled out with whispers. But no speeches please. The universe entrusts its signs to the artisan who stands, in ready quietude, brush in-hand:
 
for the slow sweep and whisper
of the brush— liked seeing the ghost letters in pencil
gradually filling out, fresh and wet and gleaming, words
forming out of all that darkness, that huge disorder.

 
Contemplatives are particularly maddening because they eschew textual impartations from ‘higher authorities’, be they clergymen or self-appointed poetry critics. At least meditation involves meditating upon something: a prayer, a papal bull, the new Tom Cruise movie, a political manifesto. The arrangers of the world seek indoctrinated readers, not divine listeners. In the absence of doctrinaires, the sway of earthly power is loosened. French Quietist Jeanne Marie Guyon called it ‘loosening the stays’. Or as Carter says in ‘The Shriving’, ‘‘Things got in the way of what he saw and heard.”
 
I can detect no earthly authority to which Jared Carter’s poetry answers, except perhaps the earth itself. No sooner did I fancy him brushing against Shaker sensibilities in Indiana, his lifelong home and the locale for most of these poems, than I fell across ‘The Believers’ inscribed to “Shakertown at Pleasant Hill, Kentucky” with appearances no less, from Mother Ann Lee, the “endless chain” and the “narrow path”.
 
There is, in his poetry, Mother Ann Lee’s ‘retirement’ from opinion and argument into the unitive state of divine contemplation. When the nervous chatter stops, the clearing is allowed and the universe bursts forth. While nature can be chronicled for the labors it performs beneath our feet, we are here not to move mountains but to occasionally move our dead to higher ground. The mind feeds nothing. Carter’s poems cannot be willed into existence. Rather, they find him at his workbench, bristling with craft and emptied of polemic.
 
This is a sprawling collection, nearly 200 pages, that assembles poems from Carter’s first five books. I confess to approaching this task with great trepidation, knowing I could never do the volume anywhere near full justice. For instance, I have barely touched upon his metrical verse and his astonishingly unlabored villanelles. Instead, I have kept things to where my own fascinations seemed to gravitate, mostly, as it turns out, in the earlier work. That would be stones, arrowheads, borrowed uniforms, adulterated light and the elevated dead. I note his latest work favors compression. I prefer the unhurried eccentricity of his longer lines. In the main, this poetry moves across the earth with understated majesty. The ultimate testament to craft is the poet’s polite absence. I applaud Carter for leaving well enough alone.
 
Norman Ball FBP
 
NORMAN BALL (BA Political Science/Econ, Washington & Lee University; MBA, George Washington University) is a well-travelled Scots-American businessman, author and poet whose essays have appeared in Counterpunch, The Western Muslim and elsewhere. His new book “Between River and Rock: How I Resolved Television in Six Easy Payments” is available here. Two essay collections, “How Can We Make Your Power More Comfortable?” and “The Frantic Force” are spoken of here and here, respectively. His recent collection of poetry “Serpentrope” is here from White Violet Press. He can be reached at returntoone@hotmail.com.
 
JARED CARTER
Jared%20Carter%20photo%20by%20Richard%20Pflum
 
 
After the Rain
 
After the rain, it’s time to walk the field
again, near where the river bends. Each year
I come to look for what this place will yield—
lost things still rising here.
 
The farmer’s plow turns over, without fail,
a crop of arrowheads, but where or why
they fall is hard to say. They seem, like hail,
dropped from an empty sky,
 
yet for an hour or two, after the rain
has washed away the dusty afterbirth
of their return, a few will show up plain
on the reopened earth.
 
Still, even these are hard to see—
at first they look like any other stone.
The trick to finding them is not to be
too sure about what’s known;
 
conviction’s liable to say straight off
this one’s a leaf, or that one’s merely clay,
and miss the point: after the rain, soft
furrows show one way
 
across the field, but what is hidden here
requires a different view—the glance of one
not looking straight ahead, who in the clear
light of the morning sun
 
simply keeps wandering across the rows,
letting his own perspective change.
After the rain, perhaps, something will show,
glittering and strange.
 
From After the Rain. First published in The Formalist.
Copyright © 1990, 1993 by Jared Carter.1
 
 
Jared Carter is an American poet. His first collection of poems, Work, for the Night Is Coming, won the Walt Whitman Award for 1980. His second poetry collection, After the Rain, received the Poets’ Prize for 1995. His third collection, Les Barricades Mystérieuses, was published in 1999. His latest book is Darkened-Rooms-of-Summer, published in 2014 by the University of Nebraska Press, with an intro by Ted Kooser.
 
Carter was a recipient of the Indiana Governor’s Arts Award for 1985. His fellowships include grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Other honors have included the New Letters Literary Award for Poetry in 1992, judged by Philip Levine, and the 2002 Rainmaker Award for Poetry from Zone 3 magazine, judged by Marilyn Chin. He was invited to read his work at the Library of Congress on December 9, 2004.
 
A Midwesterner from Indiana, he studied at Yale and at Goddard, and worked briefly as a newspaper reporter. After military service and travel abroad, he made his home in Indianapolis, where he found employment in textbook publishing. He continues to serve as a consultant in that field.
 
In his main body of work, Carter offers “a local habitation and a name,” and invites the reader to explore a place called Mississinewa County, a world of small towns and family farms and hard-working people who live close to the land. The many characters in Carter’s poems—soldiers, Shakers, farmers, ex-football players, berry pickers, derelicts—strive to maintain their dignity and to uphold their traditions. It is the striving that connects them with the universal, and it is the author’s craftsmanship—a style one critic, H. L. Hix, has described as “diamond-hard clarity”—that makes them memorable. Mississinewa County first sprang to life in Carter’s initial book, Work, for the Night Is Coming. Critical response was immediate. “From beginning to end,” Dana Gioia wrote in his review of the book in Poetry, “this volume has the quiet passion of conviction, the voice of a poet who knows exactly what he wants to say and how to say it.” In McGill’s Literary Annual, Henry Taylor described Work, for the Night Is Coming as “one of the clearest and strongest first books to have appeared in recent decades.” Writing for Library Journal, Margaret Gibson called it “a true winner. It is simply splendid.”
 
Carter’s second collection, After the Rain, attracted similar notice. “Extraordinary,” Gioia reported in the Washington Post Book World, “a dark, haunting book in the tradition of Frost.” In New Letters Book Reviewer, Ted Kooser found After the Rain to be “a moving and masterful book, charming in the best sense of that word.” It offered “proof,” Robert Phillips wrote in the Houston Post, “that the art of poetry is alive and well in America.” Perhaps Robert McPhillips, writing in the Dictionary of Literary Biography Yearbook, 1994, best summed up the critical reaction to Carter’s second book: “Well crafted, philosophically profound, and eminently readable . . . the finest, most varied, and most rewarding volume of poetry published in 1993.”
 
Carter’s third collection, Les Barricades Mystérieuses, published by Cleveland State in 1999, takes the reader even farther into Mississinewa territory. At the same time it pays homage to one of Carter’s particular interests, the heritage of French exploration and discovery in the American heartland. Always an upholder of traditionalism in prosody and poetic practice, Carter turns, in this third book, to the extremely repetitive and very French poetic form of the villanelle. David Lee Garrison, writing in The Southern Indiana Review, found these villanelles to be “as simple and subtle as the change in light and shadow against a wall created by the shift of a log in the fire, the sound of a door swinging open in the wind, or peonies that reveal an old pathway through an orchard.”
 
“Carter’s is a poetry of a resolute middle distance, firmly of this world: between the dust under the earth and the dust of space there exists the place that the poem can illumine.”—Helen Vendler, New York Review of Books
 

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Robert Hass Poet. Translator

Robert Hass is one of contemporary poetry’s most celebrated and widely-read voices. In addition to his success as a poet, Hass is also recognized as a leading critic and translator, notably of the Polish poet Czeslaw Milosz and Japanese haiku masters Basho, Buson and Issa. Critics celebrate Hass’s own poetry for its clarity of expression, its conciseness, and its imagery, often drawn from everyday life.

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Poetry & Poems of Garcia Lorca 1898-1936


Garcia Lorca is one of the more important Spanish poets, he was brutally executed at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War. Most of the works appearing here are translations together with Spanish guitar music inspired by his creations, as well as its influences, some documentary features & notably his visit to the USA, which served not only as a source of inspiration to him but to many of the current & later writers in the USA. Editor Robin Ouzman Hislop.

Garcia Lorca Poems

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