Collected Poems and Stories by Adam Donaldson Powell, Cyberwit.net, India, 2005 pp. 175, $15, 81-8253-028-8 For his Poetry Reading in Argentina (In Spanish by the author himself and translations mostly by Maria Cristina Azcona )
Powell is a multifaceted creator whose poems are enriched not only by his capability in Literary meanings, but also by his deep sensibility towards human problems, nowadays society illness, joined to his bright talent for visual arts. He has the privileged neuron that allows him to play with his own sense of aesthetics, as it was a children game. While reading his amusing poetry, we find ourselves observing reality from his point of view.
These poems, from his book “Collected Poems and Stories”, which he is presenting to Argentine public for first time, may be separated in two kinds or groups, to be analyzed and commented.
The First group is conformed by poems that are similar to a modern, abstract painting, Like he does in “Green” where a mystery hides under multiple images, colors and concepts. This mystery is revealed at the final verse.
The second group, which includes among others, The Devil, Before the death of my love, Imagine and The Prudent Cognoscente, presents us, at first sight, techniques coming from Short Story like the abrupt and unexpected ending full of an omnipresent irony.
In the second reading, both groups present always a philosophical content and customary social criticism which depth leads us to Philosophical thoughts about the meaning of existence
Powell’s work contains ironic humor, sharp criticism, the clear idea and the divertimento of a short story at the same time.
The poem manages, in its mischief, to capture grotesque of this Era, giving to our poetic palate a delicacy more than a simple esthetic pleasure.
The truth in an envelop of surprising originality: art, beauty that is not other thing that authentic poetry.
It remains me of Ezra Pound’s realistic style and, in Spain, Francisco de Quevedo´s conceptual poetry.
The most beautiful piece, to my understanding, is “The Devil” in which the poet speaks to us, readers, he orders us, he calls our attention, he prevents us of that devil that exists, that is so dangerous sand terrifying. The poet frightens us with the Devil playing “ To hide and to find” games, petrifying us with its threatening and unknown presence. Creates the climate of fear of a terror story.
In a magisterial synthesis, gives an impressive end when he finally finds that devil in ourselves, shocking us and forcing us to recognize the wickedness that lives and hides in our human heart. Here the poet creates a personage, the Devil, that no longer is the famous one but is a real, present phantom, humanized, possible and burning, like the fire of malice in daily life.
Originality is a constant in Powell’s poems, a surprising and multifaceted artist who amazes us with his music, his paintings, his poems, his humor and always with his genius .He communicates himself in so many ways and he revives in thousands of kaleidoscopic images, that finally he gives himself the final luxury to create a perfect and synthetic pearl of terror, humor, beauty, social critics, universality and creativity in pure state as he does magisterially in the DEVIL.
--Maria Cristina Azcona