I’ve been really interested in the discussions we’ve been having lately about what we do and don’t have permission to write about. It’s a question that I’ve read about a fair amount on various websites and discussed with friends both online and in person. The question of “What should we be permitted to write?” is such a multi-faceted question that it’s almost too intimidating to answer. I’m just going to look at two different ways to approach this question. I realize that it isn’t enough to answer a question as complex as it, but it’s the best way I have, currently, at approaching it.
From the Fishouse is divided into ten different section which range from eulogies to poems that focus on wordplay. I was drawn in by the section titled “Spangling the Sea: Poems with Convincing Consonance and Chimes of Internal Rhyme.” I wanted to look at poems that more obviously focused on their language use, and picking one from this section seemed like the best bet. I read All Effect by Anthony Deaton. What drew me in at first was his use of the words season and reason. He used kept pairing the word reason with the word this. When I read these words out loud I kept hearing the word “season” buried within the words “this reason.” I thought that was very clever of the poet to be able to use a word three times while only writing it once. He also showed obvious attention to consonants with lines like “written hectic and sky-bitten” and “missiles with shrill flushing / whistles that overbrim.” I also thought his lack of punctuation (he only used one period and one hyphen) was also interesting, but I’m not sure why that stuck out to me. Overall, I thought this poem was very clever and used language/letters in a very careful and thoughtful way.