||Odyssey Poets Press
||Oct 1 1997
Barnes & Noble.com
a collaboration between poet and artist, Lyn Sutterby
"Sam Smith is a poet who uses imagery, more than other poetic techniques, to good effect and uses it... to illuminate the harsh, livid beauty of places where humanity literally scratches the earth to live. Other poems are mental landscapes of equal harshness but they are not barren of emotion. The poems are well amplified by Lyn Sutterby's woodcuts reminiscent of Eskimo and other native carvings on slivers of whalebone and wood.... These poems are mirrors in which some readers will not like the reflected truth of what we really are by instinct... Sam Smith is a much more interesting social poet than many others in this respect..." Martin Holroyd, Poetry Monthly #20
From the skyscraper advantage of the ship's bridge
I look out over line upon line
of date palms,
line upon line receding into
an indigo infinity of dusk. Under
this steel sky these too are orchards;
and down on the inky grass
of the water-convoluted banks
boys squat in groups.
Their white robes folded in
between brown legs
they take turns to clap
delighting in quick and complex
the passing thrum
of the ship's big engines,
and shouting their glee
at not missing
not missing a beat,
even when slow rolling waves
from the ship's wake
lap up to their feet.
as an armadillo
or wood-louse (family Oniscidae)
-size according to eco-system -
like a python (not oracular);
plug vortex foam too
is replicated in Orion's nebula,
in each of Saturn's plaited rings.
wher it is.
Somerset County Gazette 12.12.97
"...From the lyrical 'Rhinog Fawr' to the philosophical 'Ring Upon Ring'... the strength of the collection lies in its sumptuous imagery. Smith's deliciously evocative world... lifts off the printed page and envelopes the reader... The poems are presented alongside striking woodcuts... text and image working together in an effective visual and lyrical fusion." Annemarie Sparks
"...He is a distinctive and important poet, ever sensitive to, even obsessed by, the fluidity and transience of surfaces: impressed yet shocked by the dead weight and rigidity of solid centres. His poetry evokes a cosmos structured through those elements... Sam Smith is a keen and accurate observer of the particulars of nature... The engravings, themselves made on wood, which is one of the poet's prime integuments, are not mimetic of his imagery; but are embodiments in form and design of perceptions which seem to rise from the deep subconscious; whereas the poet's images are the impress on a heightened consciousness of a close observation and appreciation of nature's structual materials. Thus, there is a true complementarity between word and art..." K V Bailey
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