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Quiet Insurrections by Daniel Klawitter

(A Poetica~Place book review by Christina)

It was a quiet, overcast afternoon when I was pleasantly surprised with a copy of Quiet Insurrections by one of Colorado’s more talented poets: Daniel Klawitter.

I am familiar with some of his earlier work (namely, Plato Poetica) and find Quiet Insurrections to be highly engaging, which every introspective poet loves! I hear myself in many of his thoughts; I can relate.

Klawitter begins with “The Poem Behind the Poem,” in part:

Everything you feel I feel.
In the absence and lack I lurk–
the poem behind the poem.
And I am willing to work
on our relationship. I am a mind
waiting to meet you. I am nothing
without your graze…”

The book doesn’t lose steam as it progresses. I read it in one joyous sitting rather than the common two or three.

It’s possible, though I’m not certain, that my favorite poem might be “A Flock Made Flesh” for both its sensuous meaning and sound:

The sudden birds erupt upwards
In a shower of speckled confetti–
Startled starlings taking wing.

Like my love in feathers
For you my dear darling–
When you turn and preen
So spectacularly.

Another possible favorite is “An Invitation.” Here, the first ten lines:

Come, you soft-shelled poets filled with sea-water.
Come and leak your speech on thirsty beaches!
Come and sing the ocean’s primal power.
Come and christen the living dictionary.
Come and listen to the seas, the rivers, the lakes.
Come and offer tribute to the tributary.
Come and accompany the lute and the lyre.
Come with your mask of shifting personas.
Come with your kindling for the original fire.
Come add your scent to the cauldron’s aroma.

“Trying Not to Rhyme”…oh yes! I can relate.

“Smartphone Revelations” is brilliant.

“Heavy Elements” is another one that I will treasure:

And the stars are
The trillion eyes
Of an unseen god–
Each eye lit
Like a candle wick
To illuminate or ignite

The parchment
Of our hearts:
Our weeping wax–
And sticky pitch–
All our combustible
Bits and parts

That come from
The same stuff as stars–
(Or so I’ve been told).
Formed in the furnace
Of a cosmic bonfire:
4.6
billion years old.

I’ll place this book beside Plato Poetica to further enrich our Red Salon with the best of living poets. Much enjoyed; thank you!

(Quiet Insurrections is available at Amazon.)

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Posted by on September 8, 2018 in News & Reviews

 

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Plato Poetica by Daniel Klawitter

(A Poetica Place book review by Christina Anne Taylor)

I can see Plato himself raising his cloud white eyebrows over my latest acquisition for our Red Salon: Plato Poetica by Daniel Klawitter. Within the elegant cover are four parts consisting of thirty poems (one in four parts) and a prose piece, and though the book developed from a concise concept, the themes of the poems vary considerably with the binding substance being epigraphs from Plato. The reader must begin with the preface to put everything into context; the reader must understand that the poet knows full well what he’s doing as he juxtaposes his modern-day voice against the timeless philosopher. That in itself is amusing.

The poems themselves vary in style but maintain a consistent signature that rings true to the poet. My personal favorite might actually be the perceptive prose piece titled “Esmeralda and the Hellhounds of Anubis.” As a woman, I relate to the theme of cats and enjoy such thoughts as “…cats have one paw in this world and the other three paws in the realm of spirits.” Esmeralda raises a paw and breaks the prose with an incantation:

Dogs are prose and prone to please.
Mice are good for eating.
When moonlight splinters through the trees
We watch humans while they’re sleeping.

Disobedience is heroic.
It’s wrong to persecute witches.
Hell is a world with no poets
And Heaven a charm of finches.

“Barnyard of the Gods” was enjoyable with lines such as:

…Hades is in the cellar
canning the souls of the dead….

Clever wit is a perennial recurrence throughout Plato Poetica, but Klawitter does have a serious side, and when he’s in serious mode he waxes most poetic, as in “The Most Shameful Thing”:

My sackcloth soul
is a waste of windswept ashes—
a hermitage of pollution.

So the poet admits openly in his preface that these seventy-four pages are an experiment of a sort with each poem being inspired by an epigraph, and I think it was worthwhile–worth his time and worth readers’ time. Copies are available at Amazon.

 
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Posted by on July 17, 2017 in News & Reviews

 

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